Saying that he'd rather die than vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama in November, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson today won the Libertarian Party nomination to be the next president of the United States.
An energetic Libertarian crowd huddled in Las Vegas at the Red Rock Resort and chose the articulate, knowledgeable Johnson over Ron Paul, Lee Wrights, Jim Libertarian Burns and Carl Person.
Though there was happy talk about the Civil War Confederacy, Libertarians hope that Johnson can impress American voters enough to get at least one third of the vote in November, an accomplishment that would be a substantial political earthquake for the disgusting cesspools of corruption and incompetence that are the Republican and Democratic parties.
"The Libertarian candidate is the only one who is going to talk about gun rights and gay rights in the same sentence," Johnson said to applause.
California's lively delegation went 68 for Johnson and 18 for the more conservative Wrights.
Seconds before noon today (Orange County time), the entire convention voted for Johnson--who is campaigning with a "Live Free" motto--on the first ballot.
"I humbly accept the nomination," Johnson said in his acceptance speech aired live by CSPAN. "I'm going to make a pledge to all of you. And that is that none of you are going to regret what happened here today."
One of the few class acts in national politics, Johnson--New Mexico's acclaimed governor from 1995 to 2003 and a man who routinely vetoed tax increase requests while he pushed for public education reforms--also paid tribute to Wrights,
"Let's get this guy elected," Wrights responded.
Johnson added that his goal in the race is "to win."
During his speech, Johnson asked the convention to select Orange County's Jim Gray as the party's vice presidential nominee.
Gray, a well-respected former Orange County Republican Superior Court judge, has been outspoken in his calls to end the nation's failed, costly "war on drugs."
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--R. Scott Moxley (rscottmoxley at ocweekly dot com)