Former Libertarian presidential candidate Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonBiden broadened Democratic base, cut into Trump coalition: study New Mexico lawmakers send recreational marijuana bills to governor Judge throws out murder convictions, releases men jailed for 24 years MORE announced on Tuesday that he’s launching a Senate campaign in New Mexico.
Johnson announced his bid on the Libertarian ticket over Twitter, rolling out a new video that ticks through his two terms as governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003. The video touts that he repeatedly cut spending and taxes, noting that he’s “fiscally conservative” and “socially cool.”
“Gary Johnson isn’t the norm in politics, he’s the future,” the ad’s narrator says to booming music and cheering crowds. “You know what Gary Johnson will do in the Senate because you know Gary Johnson.”
Johnson’s consultant Ron Nielson said in late July that the former governor was “strongly considering” a Senate bid if the Libertarian Party’s current candidate, Aubrey Dunn, dropped out. Dunn officially exited the race on July 30.
Johnson is vying to unseat Sen. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichOn The Money — No SALT, and maybe no deal SALT change likely to be cut from bill, say Senate Democrats Democrats torn over pushing stolen-election narrative MORE (D-N.M.), who is seeking reelection for a second term. Heinrich is facing Republican Mick Rich, though the New Mexico Democrat is expected to hold the seat.
Clinton won New Mexico by 8 points in the 2016 election. The Cook Political Report, a top nonpartisan election handicapper, has the race rated as solidly Democratic.
Johnson is seen as a long-shot, though he won more than 9 percent of the vote in New Mexico during his 2016 presidential run. Johnson’s candidacy could end up siphoning away support from the Republican candidate.