Gary Johnson

William Weld Gets the Libertarian Vice Presidential Nod on Second Ballot

Running mate Gary Johnson says: "I haven't had so much anxiety over a moment in my life."

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William Weld, former Republican governor of Massachusetts, is now the vice presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party. He earned 50.5 percent of the vote on a second ballot, 441 delegates. His nearest competitor, at 46.9 percent, was Larry Sharpe on that second ballot. (Weld got 49 percent on the first ballot, 19 percentage points ahead of Sharpe, but a majority was required to actually win.)

Matt Welch

Weld overcame strong opposition mostly based on disbelief in his libertarian philosophical bonafides (particularly on gun rights), a broken promise to the Party in the past when he reneged on running on their ticket for a New York governor's race, and a general sense he lacked a permanent commitment to them and their values. When it was announced from stage that "William Weld" was a top trending term on Twitter, someone shouted "#statist!"

I was standing near Gary Johnson shortly after the Weld win was announced on the convention floor in Orlando. He was mock-collapsing with full-body relief.

"I haven't had so much anxiety over a moment in my life," Johnson told me, saying he had never taken Weld's victory for granted. (Johnson had told the Party his campaign would be hobbled by 50 percent without getting Weld as his partner.)

Much more about today's Libertarian Party convention doings coming later here at Reason.com.