Gary Johnson, Libertarian Presidential Candidate hopeful, has selected California Judge Jim Gray to be his running mate. Gray is known for his marijuana legalization advocacy, which “puts pot front-and-center in the campaign,” a Johnson aide told TheDC.
Like Johnson, Gray was once a conservative Republican who has now turned Libertarian as a result of dissatisfaction with the country’s current drug laws. Gray was one of the most vocal supporters of California Proposition 19, which aimed to decriminalize marijuana.
The Johnson/Gray ticket has the potential to make a large impact for the Libertarian Party. Recent polls showed that Johnson received 15% voter support in his home state of New Mexico. However, if Johnson (or any other Libertarian Candidate, should Johnson not be chosen by his party) receives 5% of the overall vote nationwide in 2012, it will guarantee $90 million in federal funding for the Party’s Candidate in the 2016 election, according to Johnson’s advisor.
Of being asked to run with Johnson, Gray said, “I agreed to run only if we were going to run to win. I am not going to do this ‘Let’s have a moral victory’ stuff. I believe, and I think he agrees, that we have a good, solid 1 ½ % chance of winning this election.”
The Libertarian National Convention will be held this weekend, May 3-6, and at the convention the Presidential Candidate and Vice Presidential Candidate will be selected by the party after a series of debates and multiple rounds of voting. While Johnson has not yet received the nomination from his party, he is considered the frontrunner. Gray is currently the only vice-presidential candidate for the party, but that could change, as Libertarians oftentimes will choose their vice presidential candidate from the presidential candidates who lost in the previous rounds of voting.