Johnson Campaign Announces Process for Endorsements

Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson’s campaign has announced the following process for candidate endorsements.

1) “The Governor will only endorse those candidates who are a) NOT running against another Libertarian and who b) do not have the possibility of running against another Libertarian — e.g.  having another Libertarian enter the race).”

2) “The process begins with a recommendation from the Gary Johnson Campaign State Director for the state where the candidate is running for office. (Contact information for State Directors is available under the “GET INVOLVED” tab, and then “Find Your State Director” link at”

3) “Alternatively, candidates, campaign managers or others may request the one-page nomination form by email from Completed forms can then be returned to the email address where they will be forwarded to the appropriate State Director for review.”

The official list of candidates who have been endorsed by Governor Johnson and/or Judge Gray will be made available, with links to their campaign websites, on a page (not yet available) at

Any questions about endorsements can be emailed to

The campaign expects to announce its first endorsements within the next few days.

48 thoughts on “Johnson Campaign Announces Process for Endorsements

  1. Ad Hoc

    Seems pretty straightforward. Are the application coming in a any significant rate? Does the campaign plan to do much of anything in the way of joint appearances with endorsed candidates?

  2. Austin Battenberg

    I think they are releasing this so Johnson can endorse Republicans and Democrats in various races around the country assuming no Libertarian is running. This way they can avoid what happened to Barr when he started to endorse neocons for Congress.

  3. George Phillies

    @2 That is an extremely alarming interpretation of events.

    Our Presidential candidate should never endorse any Republican or Democrat for any office.

  4. Oranje Mike

    Interesting. GJ had no issue endorsing his people when they ran at the convention…against other Libertarians.

  5. Austin Battenberg

    If a Liberty Republican like John Dennis wants an endorsement, and no Libertarian is running, (or even a Liberty Democrat if any exist), then I don’t see it as a problem. As long as he isn’t just endorsing anyone who asks, and actually vets them and makes sure they will pursue our agenda of limited government and anti war.

    And I doubt it is limited to the two major parties. I think he is trying to appeal to ANYONE who may seek his endorsement, regardless of party affiliation.

  6. zapper

    “Our Presidential candidate should never endorse any Republican or Democrat for any office.” – George Phillies


    This also seems like a major announcement about a minor issue – endorsements by the unknown LP POTUS candidate. Sounds like campaign staff members have a bit too much unfocused time on their hands.

    The big items:

    Ballot access
    Major network advertising
    Public events, speaking, scheduling …
    Media outreach, Social media and PR

  7. JT

    What the heck? Are Republican or Democratic candidates seeking the endorsement of the Libertarian candidate for President? I don’t see the point of this.

  8. Bill Wood

    If there are any libertarian leaning Candidates who are in another Party, instead of asking for GJ endorsement they should switch to the Libertarian Party.

  9. JT

    Ad Hoc: “Who said not Libertarian candidates?”

    You’re right. I thought it said “not running against A Libertarian candidate,” when it says “not running against ANOTHER Libertarian candidate.” I was also distracted by the baseless speculation that GJ would endorse candidates of other parties.

  10. Joe Buchman

    It a trickle so far, about a dozen although I see I have more in today’s mail.

    At least two liberty-oriented Republicans have sent back the form asking for an endorsement with support from at least two of our State/Regional Directors;

    Some races are non-Partisan with former Libertarian Party candidates who may be currently more actively supporting Ron Paul and who are not on the ballot as “Libertarians”;

    For example, one email today asks: “Will Governor Johnson endorse small-l libertarians who are running on a different party line than the LP in a partisan race, assuming they are not up against someone from the LP? I know in some states it’s significantly easier for a libertarian to run as a Republican than as a Libertarian. . . In NY (and CT too I believe), there technically is no such thing as the “Libertarian” party line, and you have to petition on as one. However, you can essentially pick whatever party name you want (hence the “Connecticut for Lieberman Party”), but cannot run as an independent in a partisan race.

    Where “Libertarian” is not available as a party option a ballots we are considering endorsing libertarian candidates;

    My goal is to have as many links on the websites of candidates seeking the Governor’s endorsement back to as possible (I see that as consistent with the goals identified above of fundraising, ballot access, gaining publicity and winning votes) — a subset of a larger campaign goal (as I see it) to advance the cause of Liberty generally and to help other Libertarians win their elections (by also linking back to their websites);

    Where we’re considering endorsing a non-Libertarian (and only where no Libertarian opponent is involved) that would be the standard (advancing the cause of Liberty and helping Libertarians win their races) for the vetting process — (which for full disclosure I’ve been tasked with managing in partnership with our State Directors );

    and I’m interested in your insights here, or directly at, or

    As for the endorsements that happened during the convention, I was not involved in that vetting other than to urge the campaign not to take sides in internal races. It’s clear to me that learning occurred as a result of that.

    As I understand it (and this is not the”truth” or an official explanation — just my impression as teh guy trying to go forward from here) — After Judge Gray endorsed Mr. Hinkle (which occurred (a few days, at best) prior to Judge Gray being invited to run as Governor Johnson’s VP choice) there were arguments (which were not without merit, IMO) to move the pendulum back to neutral. The very late letter supporting Mr. Rutherford was designed to do that following increasingly adamant requests for fairness there).

    The endorsements by Governor Johnson of Mr. Redpath and Mr. Root were, as I understand it, based on his prior personal experience and were (in my impression of it) heartfelt expressions of gratitude for their roles in bringing him to seek the LP nomination. Something for which I share gratitude. I’m grateful for Governor Johnson’s dedication to this campaign, am doing the best I can to be in service of that, and maximizing the number of votes he will have earned, and the push forward for Liberty itself, between now and November 6th.

    Hope that helps and I’ve not opened up the gate to some sort of hellstorm here!

    Bottom line — I’m a volunteer here working for the campaign, posting here as a way of gaining feedback and valuable insights into perfecting the process, doing that with openness and transparency, and am in my other world a professor of marketing and business strategy attempting to prove that sometimes those who “teach” can indeed also “do.”

    All help, and most criticism, is indeed appreciated!

    Where that’s best offered by email at — please send it there. If it’s helpful for brainstorming, or for other reasons you see as best — please post it here.


  11. Joe Buchman

    @14 — THANKS Trent. I’ll reach out to our State Director in New York and start the vetting process of that website/candidate now.

  12. Gene Berkman

    The wording of the endorsement parameters seems to indicate he does not want to endorse one LP candidate who is in a contest for the nomination with another LP candidate.

    It is speculation to think that he may endorse pro-freedom candidates running as Republicans, but really, why not?

    I was a libertarian for years before The Libertarian Party was formed. The Libertarian Movement is not co-terminous with The Libertarian Party.

    Since he has ruled out endorsing a candidate running against another LP candidate. that would eliminate the possibility of endorsing another party candidate against an LP candidate.

  13. Trent Hill

    Joe–I also think this could help Johnson to get in good with the Paul voters. By endorsing the Liberty Candidates they hold most dear–like Thomas Massie, Steve Stockman, Kerry Bentovollo (sp?) in Michigan, Justin Amash, etc.

  14. Joe Buchman

    @16 “that would eliminate the possibility of endorsing another party candidate against an LP candidate.”

    That’s the intention.

    We’re also unlikely to endorse any candidate who could lose to None of the Above (NOTA) in a primary/at a convention.

    (IMO — After Vegas NOTA has become not only a clearly legit, but also viable, LP candidate!)

    Once the LP nomination is in hand, we will not consider endorsing any candidate for that race except the Libertarian, even where the Libertarian might not seek to be, or be endorsed.

    We are actively vetting, and looking at endorsing (small l) libertarian candidates who have made the request for an endorsement, and who are running as Independents, or potentially under other party labels for reasons best articulated @ 17 and @ 5 above.

    Hope that helps fully explain the process.


  15. Matt Cholko

    My initial thought is that I don’t want our POTUS candidate endorsing candidates from other parties. This is much the same as my feelings about affiliate parties endorsing non-LP candidates. However, if the campaign is playing some angle here, I’ll at least give it some more thought before I start bitching.

    Mr. Buchman – I very much appreciate your openness about the process. This kind of transparency is what I’d like to see all across the LP.

  16. Joe Buchman

    Thanks Matt,

    I appreciate the feedback and share you concerns. In some races it seems to me, we do have (big L) Libertarians running either as Independents or in non-Partisan races. Those and Libertarians running as Libertarians have our primary attention.

    Where there’s some good that could come from endorsing small l libertarians running in races with no Libertarian candidate, we’re looking, thinking and accepting feedback/ideas/suggestions. When one of those candidates actually seeks our endorsement over their own Party up ticket candidates, that does get some, well-deserved, attention.

    I believe we’ve all benefited as well, by some on our LNC, and others in our party, reaching out to Governor Johnson before he (re) registered as a Libertarian. I think we might benefit by doing something similar with a few select other candidates who are Libertarian-leaning-libertarians-currently-identified-with-other-parties. That’s just my personal opinion right now, not an official campaign position.

    Look for our first endorsements in less than 24 hours. We’ll notify the candidates first, and then I’ll post about it here.


  17. Trent Hill

    Matt–I tend to think that party LEADERSHIP shouldn’t go endorsing or helping other party candidates, because that sends the wrong signal, but it is quite commonplace amongst all parties, major or minor, to endorse candidates from other parties. Considering the LP is definitely looking to ingratiate itself to the Ron Paul supporters, I’d say this move makes sense in that context. I get your reservations, though.

  18. Raymond Agnew

    Well Joe where there no Libertarians on the ballot I have no problem with Gov. Johnson endorsing small ( l ) & Big ( L ) Libertarians That Are Running On The Independent of Non Party Or An Other 3rd Party Line But I’m a little learly of Endorsments of candidates in the R&D One Party System You might find maybe a Few as long as they are properly veted but be careful & Good Luck.

  19. Steve M

    Oranje Mike,

    Traditionally, the POTUS candidate from a party becomes the de facto leader of the party and remains so if they win the election. As the party leader they do participate in the selection of party officers.


    Being a Libertarian leader is akin to being a herder of cats.

    I wish Gary luck at this….

  20. Joe Buchman

    Thanks to everyone above.

    The campaign will be sending out our first endorsements tomorrow by email to a handful of candidates, solid Libertarians all (eg, ran a campaign for the LP Presidential nomination, current and/or former LP State Chairs who are also running for elective office, current garyjohnson2012 campaign state and campus directors.

    Each has made the request and each has a well developed website with STRONG Libertarian messages.

    FYI — we are also in the process of vetting several Republican, Democratic and Independent candidates with similar strong Libertarian pasts and/or who already have the endorsement of their State Libertarian Party and yet are running under other Party Labels or as Independents — (apparently there’s a wide variety of reasons for this).

    Each of those are being reviewed very carefully, but I anticipate there may well be endorsements of some of those candidates in the coming days/weeks.

    In the meantime, any and all LIBERTARIAN candidates (who have the party nomination) for ALL elective office are encouraged to seek Governor Johnson’s endorsement by emailing

    So far I have about 15 candidates in that database, and I’m hoping for 700+ as the state conventions happen and more candidates are identified. We’re also looking at lists of candidates from the LP National Office, and will start proactively reaching out to those candidates as they are identified to us.

    Thanks again for your helpful (and critical) comments above. Feel free to keep them coming!


  21. George Phillies

    Johnson endorsing Republicans or Democrats is an incredibly bad idea.

    I am not bothered by states with strange ballot access laws, because I live in one. So, for example, if someone in Oklahoma runs as an independent (or any of several variations) for Congress, and the literature says Libertarian, that’s fine. We had this here two years years ago. US Senate Joe Kennedy ran on the “Liberty” identifier, not “Libertarian”.

  22. Hardy Macia

    If there is no LP candidate in the race then I think Johnson should endorse and RECEIVE endorsements from as many other other candidates as he can. This is a two way street – it’s called building Johnson’s vote totals and the status of the LP…

    In NH for instance there will be some where around 50-100 pro-liberty candidates running for state house/senate as R or D who will not endorse Romney or Obama. We want them endorsing Johnson.

  23. Eric Blitz

    I think that the strong presumption should be in favor of party and against other parties, but it should be a rebuttable presumption for candidates that can help the campaign as Hardy (27) suggests and who have strong libertarian positions on issues.

    On the latter point, I’d suggest that those positions should be measured broadly across the issues spectrum, so if a candidate applies a principled stand on fiscal issues but ignores that same principle when applied to social issues, or takes positions at odds with core libertarian principles, that should in almost all instances disqualify them (an absolute rule in this process is unwieldy as it is a political decision not a moral one).

    A big part of this process is reaching out to non-libertarians to open them up to the message. That takes time and a willingness (and patience) to engage with others while retaining your core political agenda. You can’t do that with a rigid rule that our campaign’s political calculations are exclusively partisan (you are with or us or you are the enemy), otherwise we are just waging a primary campaign.

  24. Steve M

    @26 and @30… why? if a candidate isn’t facing a libertarian in an election and is a good match to be an ally and they ask for the endorsement then isn’t this a positive move to bring those people over to the Libertarian Party?

  25. Gary

    Why didn’t they run as an L then if they were such a good ally?

    Endorsements aren’t always reciprocal. Johnson endorsed RP numerous times and RP hasn’t returned the favor.

    How does that make Johnson look?

    Plus, we shouldn’t go around promoting other parties. When was the last time you heard a R or D endorsing a libertarian. I cannot recall any.

    When Libertarians endorse people outside the party it dilutes the party’s image.

  26. George Phillies

    @31 No, it isn’t. It sends the message that we are lapdogs of the Republicans. What the Presidential candidate should be doing is recruiting candidates — where this is still possible — and supporting the candidates that we already have.

    For example, LPNH now has nomination by convention, so there is a small bit of time to recruit additional candidates to run for their state legislature.

  27. Steve M

    @33 is it ok to endorse a Democratic candidate?

    @32 “Why didn’t they run as an L then if they were such a good ally? ”

    this is why I use the word develop… the population is limited if you want to grow market share you have to take away from the competition. Alienating possible future libertarians is not a good way to grow market share. Making friends is!

    Numerous Libertarians have endorsed Ron Paul this election cycle. What we need to do is move the Ron Paul supports are direction and saying that we are similar enough to his views so that he would be our preferred Republican candidate for POTUS seems to be a very rational strategy.

  28. JT

    Blitz: “I think that the strong presumption should be in favor of party and against other parties, but it should be a rebuttable presumption for candidates that can help the campaign as Hardy (27) suggests and who have strong libertarian positions on issues.”

    My problem with that is that I don’t know of any Republican or Democratic candidates who should be considered good enough from a libertarian perspective to endorse. We have to realize that Ron Paul is the *only one* of his ilk in Congress. I don’t think anyone else even advocates an intermediate program such as moving to a low flat income tax, legalizing marijuana, staying out of the middle east, slashing welfare, closing agencies, etc. Show me the Democratic or Republican candidates who publicly advocate that & I’d reconsider.

    Macia: “In NH for instance there will be some where around 50-100 pro-liberty candidates running for state house/senate as R or D who will not endorse Romney or Obama. We want them endorsing Johnson.”

    These “50-100 pro-liberty candidates” in NH advocate a program similar to the one I mentioned above? I find that very difficult to believe.

  29. Daniel Wiener

    The nature of the process which the Johnson campaign has outlined pretty much solves the problem of endorsements for Republican and Democrat candidates who are insufficiently libertarian. It’s clear that the Republican or Democrat candidate must want (and probably actively seek) Gary Johnson’s endorsement in order to get it. And unless that candidate has strong libertarian leanings, he or she simply isn’t going to do that. So the self-selection process will automatically weed out those candidates with significant statist views.

    Will the candidates who do get Johnson’s endorsement be 100% libertarian? Probably not, but I’ll be happy with a high percentage and the prospect of moving them further in our direction (as well as moving the country further in our direction). The goal is liberty, not party labels.

    I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on every single issue, but just because they’re wrong on that small number of issues where they do disagree doesn’t make them my enemy; it just makes them mistaken. I’ve gotten used to the fact that the rest of the human race all seem to have some of these unfortunate deficiencies. Nonetheless, I prefer to think of everyone who believes strongly in a free society as my ally.

    Those who want an insular Libertarian Party, with purity tests and total isolation from anyone associated with the Republicans or Democrats, will not be satisfied with Gary Johnson’s approach. But then they probably weren’t satisfied with Gary Johnson’s nomination either. Oh well.

  30. Ad Hoc

    online writing courses free uso quotidiano di levitra hiring academic writers go here how much should viagra cost uk viagra for sale online cheap go site source site source url enter aurochem sildenafil reviews paper writing service cheap synthroid and grapefruit enter creative writing worksheet 1st grade viagra voorschrift citation in essay blue cross blue shield health cialis viagra laced condoms thesis writing sample of acknowledgement click rosacea viagra go to site see cialis black market Those who want an insular Libertarian Party, with purity tests and total isolation from anyone associated with the Republicans or Democrats, will not be satisfied with Gary Johnson’s approach. But then they probably weren’t satisfied with Gary Johnson’s nomination either. Oh well.

    I’m not sure I would jump to that conclusion. For example, didn’t JT favor Johnson as the least bad candidate for the nomination? I seem to recall that, but I could be wrong.

  31. Joe Buchman

    @ 29 Eric — I tend to agree.

    @ 26 and @30 — So looking at Will McVay, Vice chair of the State of Delaware Libertarian Party, endorsed by the Delaware Libertarian Party, running as a Republican on a Libertarian platform, no links on his website to the RP, but links to the Libertarian Party. Does that meet your standard of having endorsed a Republican and now calling for Gary Johnson’s removal?

    I ask because I truly don’t know if you mean to say that or not.

    @ 34 Paulie — in essence, I’d say yes. At least so far in the process — which begins by the candidate asking for the endorsement. That’s a form of endorsement from them to us, which so far has included a brief specific statement.

    @ 35 I tend to agree (with this and your other posts) and I also feel we all, including the campaign, benefit from this debate.

    @ 37 I consider myself a purist/radical, and yet here I am. I advocate the politics that “easily, naturally, logically and self-evidently derives from the non-aggression and personal ownership principles.” I also do NOT see getting from A to Z by first moving from A to D, then D to K and so forth as a compromise of principle. I think Gary has done a great job of explicating that.

    As for endorsements, the bottom line is something on the order of “does this endorsement do more good or more harm in advancing the cause of Liberty, and the number of votes for Gary Johnson/Jim Gray (as well as the other candidate). Where that decision is a close call, we’ll probably wait until closer to the election to see if the tipping point becomes clear. In Will McVay’s case it wasn’t a close call. He’s a Libertarian Candidate (one who I’m sure the RP folk are grumbling about), one who benefits from the endorsement (in this case perhaps more than the Governor does). But that endorsement is one that I feel confident was based on a Principled stand.

    Hope the above helps explain things.


  32. Joe Buchman

    Gary @32

    “Why didn’t they run as an L then if they were such a good ally?”

    It’s a fair question and it’s one I’ve asked of candidates and their representatives myself .

    In my experience, there are indeed reasonable answers to be had.

    I would also say as the state parties grow, as ballot access signature drives become a thing of the past, as we knock down all the barriers to entry placed by the major parties who have worked to keep Libertarian candidates off the ballot . . . it will become a question which no longer has reasonable answers. After that it will become a question we’ll no longer be asking.

    That day will be heralded by having a Libertarian candidate in every race, and multiple Libertarian candidates seeking those nominations.

    To see that day arrive, if I lived where Will McVay is running, I’d sure as heck vote for him, as I would vote for any other Libertarian State Party officer that I can imagine, no matter if it said R or D or C for Crazy Party after her name.

    I see that as a Principled Stand.

    I tend to buy other products and services based more on their internal integrity and overall quality than on their packaging and brand name label as well.

    If you or anyone here wants to talk this over, or email privately about these issues, I’m really listening. I don’t think we screwed up here, and I do value your feedback (even as extreme as some of it is) as serving to keep us ever more vigilant going forward.

    And I’m sincerely grateful for that.

    or my personal email,,
    or my cell 435 602 0798.

  33. Joe Buchman

    PS I did not mean to imply it’s not okay to also post about it here. I’m into openness and transparency as well.


  34. Paulie

    I consider myself a purist/radical, and yet here I am. I advocate the politics that “easily, naturally, logically and self-evidently derives from the non-aggression and personal ownership principles.” I also do NOT see getting from A to Z by first moving from A to D, then D to K and so forth as a compromise of principle.

    Same here.

  35. Pingback: Gary Johnson Campaign Endorses First Dozen Libertarian Candidates | Independent Political Report

  36. Joe Buchman

    @ 42 Paulie — are we the practical-radical caucus then?


    Joe (ducking for cover)

  37. paulie

    are we the practical-radical caucus then?

    Something like that. I also like Less Antman’s idea “friendly radical caucus”

    It’s so nice to see Libertarian Liberty Candidates getting the recognition they deserve. Thank You Gary Johnson.

    Thanks for your site Gigi, I told Joe about it and hopefully both your site and the campaign will benefit, hopefully also you will learn of more candidates for your site through this effort as well.

  38. Pingback: Gary Johnson 2012 Campaign Endorses More Candidates | Independent Political Report

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