Gary Johnson Cannabis Sativa Inc.’s Former CEO, is Said to Be “Strongly Considering” a Run to Represent New Mexico as a U.S. Senator, Sparking Excitement Among Cannabis Supporters and Libertarians Alike.
Rumors that Gary Johnson Cannabis Sativa Inc’s former CEO is thinking about getting back into the political arena have been swirling in Libertarian circles for the last few weeks.
An outspoken advocate for cannabis legalization, Johnson agreed to take the helm of Cannabis Sativa (OTCQB: CBDS) back in July of 2014, leaving only to accept the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president in early 2016.
More recently, Johnson was said to be eyeing the Libertarian Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico, a slot that has been held by Aubrey Dunn, the current New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands, and a former Republican who switched to the Libertarian Party in January 2018.
While Johnson has yet to make a formal announcement, the rumors that he is “strongly considering” a run for the U.S. Senate were confirmed last week by the Associated Press, and Dunn himself. “He seems sincerely grateful that I’m offering him this opportunity. I believe he’ll accept it,” Dunn told Reason magazine, regarding his own decision to drop out of the race.
“With Gary taking this race over, I think this is the best thing that could happen to the Libertarian Party of New Mexico,” Dunn added. “I think that it’s going to cause an unbelievable shift in the way that people look at the Libertarian Party.”
Dunn’s willingness to withdraw from the U.S. Senate race clears a path for Johnson, who is, nevertheless, still carefully weighing the decision. According to his long-time campaign manager, Ron Nielson, Johnson “doesn’t want to get into a race he can’t win.”
Democrats expected the seat to remain in the hands of the Democratic incumbent, United States Senator Martin Heinrich, who won election to the U.S. Senate in 2012 with 51% of the vote against his Republican opponent, candidate Heather Wilson, who received 45.3% of the vote.
In 2018, candidates for each of the three parties in New Mexico ran unopposed. The results of the closed primary elections on June 5 were as follows:
- Martin Heinrich (Incumbent), Democratic Primary Election: 152,145 votes.
- Mick Rich, Republican Primary Election: 67,502 votes.
- Aubrey Dunn, Libertarian Primary Election: 623 votes.
If Gary Johnson joins the race, however, there is no telling what could happen. The former CEO of Cannabis Sativa, Inc. was a popular two-term Governor of New Mexico from 1995 until 2003. The Republican candidate, Mick Rich, on the other hand, is running for office for the first time.
When Gary Johnson ran for president as a Libertarian candidate in 2012, he received nearly 1.3 million votes cast – an all-time high for the Libertarian Party, and among the top ten for all third party presidential candidates in U.S. history.
Then, in 2016, with William Weld on the ticket, Gary Johnson beat his own record, winning an astounding 4.48 million votes (3.3% of all votes cast), beating even Theodore Roosevelt’s 4.12 million votes when he ran for president as a Progressive Bull Moose Party candidate in 1912.
In his home state of New Mexico that year, Johnson was rewarded with 74,541 votes for president, or 9.34% of the total, nearly triple the national tally. Clearly, Gary Johnson is loved by those who know him well. And as political analyst Brian Sanderoff said, “The people of New Mexico do know Gary Johnson. He would start out with lots of name recognition.”
In a field where spin and deception seems to be the rule, Johnson has long stood out for his honesty and candor. He takes as practical approach to problem solving and a common sense approach to governing. As the Governor of New Mexico, Johnson was nicknamed “Governor Veto” for the 700 some-odd vetoes he exercised in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s capital, in an effort to rein in government spending.
Johnson has also been ahead of his time on a number of key issues. In 1999, Johnson publicly advocated the legalization of cannabis. Arguing that the War on Drugs was “an expensive bust,” Johnson became the highest-ranking elected official at the time to support the end of cannabis prohibition. He believes drug abuse should be treated as a public health issue rather than a crime.
Johnson appeared to be finished with elected office soon after the 2016 presidential campaign. Now, however, looking at the future of the Libertarian Party, Johnson seems to be having second thoughts.
There is a “need to get someone elected,” he recently said of the Libertarian Party. “If you had a true independent Libertarian in office that was successful, that would become the template,” for the parties future, he argues. As a result, he said, he’s “not ruling anything out because we need a success story. Maybe in that context I might play a role.”
Gary Johnson Cannabis Sativa, Inc’s Former CEO considering run for Senate
Article by staff writer John Welch