Reason reports Judge Jim Gray, the Libertarian Party’s 2012 vice presidential nominee has entered the race for the Libertarian Party’s 2020 presidential nomination. He has already named 2018 New York gubernatorial candidate Larry Sharpe as his running mate.
From 1989 to 2009, Gray, 75, served as a Superior Court Judge for Orange County, California. In 1992, he was the first sitting judge to declare his opposition to the drug war. He left the Republican Party and joined the Libertarians ahead of his 2004 run for Governor of California in which he received 1.8 percent of the vote. Gary Johnson picked Gray as his running mate and he won the Vice presidential nomination at the convention. The Johnson-Gray ticket received 0.99 percent of the popular vote, which at the time was the second highest mark for the party, until Johnson-Weld eclipsed that mark with 3.28 percent in 2016.
According to Reason, Gray entered the race after his preferred candidate Lincoln Chafee withdrew last week. Members of the Chafee campaign asked Gray to run. After initial apprehension he entered discussions with Libertarian Party officials and Larry Sharpe in particular. He entered the race after Sharpe agreed to be his running mate.
Sharpe, 51, is a former Marine, who founded Neo-Sage Group, Inc, which he currently directs. He ran for vice president at the 2016 Libertarian convention and almost pulled an upset over Bill Weld, who won on the second ballot. During his 2018 run for governor of New York, Sharpe received 1.6 percent of the vote.
The pair join a crowded field for the Libertarian Party’s 2020 nomination that includes Future of Freedom Foundation president Jacob Hornberger, 1996 vice presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen, antiwar activist Adam Kokesh, former Libertarian National Committee vice chair Arvin Vohra, performance artist Vermin Supreme, software engineer Dan Behrman, former Coast Guard officer Ken Armstrong, and former Grady County (Georgia) NAACP president John Monds. Independent Congressman Justin Amash is reportedly considering a run.
The party is expected to nominate a ticket at the May 21–25 National Convention in Austin, Texas. However, with large gatherings shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, different arrangements might be made. According to paulie on the Open Thread, a Zoom meeting of party officials is scheduled to take place May 2 to discuss possible changes to the National Convention.