2012 saw the Libertarian Party win their largest percent of the popular vote to date, just under 1%, but 2016 seems to be their chance to set a new record. With Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as the presumptive nominees for their respective parties, many people are turning to a third party option. At the end of May, the Libertarian Party held their nominating convention in Florida and selected Gary Johnson and Bill Weld as their presidential and vice-presidential nominee. But they aren’t the only libertarians in the world, so it’s time to get in the know.
1. Gary Johnson
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, is the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee this year. Though he was born in North Dakota, he attended the University of New Mexico where he got a degree in, no surprise here, political science. He then went on to build his construction company before moving into politics. Johnson was a Republican Governor and actually ran for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012, before realizing it wasn’t going well and dropping out to run as a libertarian. His 2012 Libertarian campaign was the best in the party’s history, though he still earned just under 1% of the popular vote. On the issues, he is pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and believes that the government should be as uninvolved as possible in people’s lives and pockets.
2. Bill Weld
Bill Weld, the former Governor of Massachusetts, is the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential nominee this year. He has a long political background, including a Senate campaign that he lost to current Secretary of State John Kerry and he sought an ambassadorial position to Mexico under President Bill Clinton, though it never came to fruition. Weld also ran for Governor of New York, first as a Republican but then as a Libertarian after the Republican State Convention endorsed his opponent. In the modern political race, he likes to make Holocaust references about Donald Trump and he doesn’t think there is enough evidence to indict Hillary. As Governor of Massachusetts, he supported gun control and endorsed Obama in 2008.
3. Austin Petersen
Austin Petersen is a businessman who ran for the Libertarian Party’s nomination this year, though he was defeated by Johnson. He grew up in the Midwest and graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in musical theatre. He is currently the owner and chief executive of a for-profit consulting firm that specializes in photo and video services. Previously, he was an associate producer for Judge Napolitatno’s show ‘Freedom Watch.” On the issues, he wants to abolish the current tax code, audit the Pentagon, lower barriers to trade with other nations, updated Ellis Island standards for immigration, and abolish the death penalty.
4. Jim Gray
Judge Jim Gray is the sitting judge overseeing the Superior Court of Orange County and recently ran for the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential nomination. He is about to finish his third decade of legal and judicial work. He was educated at UCLA and received his JD from USC. In his time as a judge, he has worked to establish a Peer Court System, and worked towards issues such as MADDDUI with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and “Stay in School” programs. On the issues, he wants to repeal and reform the War on Drugs, establish No-Fault insurance policies, allow individuals to contribute as much as they want to a candidate (though they would have to disclose over $200), and replace the current tax system with a Flat Tax, FAIR Tax, or National Sales Tax.
5. Bob Barr
Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for President in 2008, has lived an exciting life. Born in Iowa City, he graduated from the University of Southern California and joined the CIA, where he worked for seven years. He then went on to serve Georgia in the House of Representatives. In 2008, he ran for president as the Libertarian candidate on a platform of smaller government. In his 2008 campaign, he ran on issues including anti-Iraq War, anti-attack on Iran. He supported gay marriage but thought it should be left to the states. He did vote for the Patriot Act, though he later renounced that vote.