Las Vegas – Tonight’s pivotal Libertarian Party presidential debate will feature Gary Johnson and Lee Wrights.
Here’s quick primer on the candidates:
A former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico with a background in the construction industry, entered the race for the Libertarian Party nomination after failing to take off in the race for the Republican nomination. While governor earned a reputation of being fiscally conservative and socially tolerant by vetoing over 700 bills and becoming one of the first officials elected to prominent office to call for the legalization of marijuana. When Johnson left office in 2003 due to term limits the state budget had a billion dollar surplus.
Before serving as governor he built up a successful construction company that he eventually sold for millions.
More from Reason on Gary Johnson here.
After graduating high school in North Carolina Wrights joined the US Air Force and worked his way up to the rank of sergeant. Wrights was honorably discharged and went on to pursue a career in journalism and activism in the libertarian movement. Wrights has worked at numerous outlets including Liberty For All and the Free Market Daily. Wrights was Mary Ruwart’s campaign manager in 2008. He currently resides in Texas where he edits Ration Review News Digest. Wrights launched his campaign in April 2011.
The theme of Wright's campaign is Stop All War. When asked about it he said it extends beyond just foreign policy. “Our political rhetoric is rife with war. Whenever our politicians have a problem that needs to be solved they want to have a war on it. That doesn’t work.”
My interview with Wrights here.
Carl Person and Jim Burns came up far short of the threshold needed to participate in the debate but they are within striking distance of the all important 30 tokens required to be a presidential nominee. They can continue to submit tokens until the period for nominations is closed in the convention hall sometime tomorrow morning.
Final totals of delegate-token counts after the jump
263 Gary Johnson
127 Lee Wrights
28 Carl Person
27 Jim Burns
12 Sam Sloan
3 Rita Nunez Neuman
2 James Ogle
1 Jim Gray