Las Vegas—It is looking more and more likely that Lee Wrights will be the only serious challenger to former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson for the presidential nomination at the Libertarian National Convention. Wrights has support from both the purist elements within the party and Mary Ruwart, one of the more prominent so-called radical Libertarians.
Wrights, a burly North Carolina native who speaks with a strong southern drawl, does not like to hear any talk about there being different wings in the Libertarian Party.
"We're not large enough to break ourselves up into smaller groups among ourselves. We're just Libertarians. I don't consider myself a representative of any wing of the Libertarian Party. Period. That's what my campaign has been all about," said Wrights.
When pressed further, Wrights dismissed the notion that he was a Libertarian purist.
"Nobody asked me if I was a radical, if I was a reformer, if I was this, if I was that. They just lumped me into a group with people and said that's where Lee Wrights is. If you ask me what I am, I am a radical reformer," he said.
For over a decade Wrights has worked on several libertarian news sites, notably the Rational Review News Digest and LibertyForAll.net. Wrights says that he generates the majority of his income from running those sites and the occasional consulting gig.
Wrights, a former sergeant in the Air Force, sat down with Reason to talk about his candidacy, how his experience with Ruwart in 2008 changed him, how he feels about Bob Barr, and if he will support Johnson if he is the nominee.
Correction: Due to a typo, this original post quoted Wrights as saying he did not represent the Libertarian Party. It has now been corrected to: "I don't consider myself a representative of any wing of the Libertarian Party."