Forget about the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo! In Las Vegas today, the Libertarian Party held its national convention and nominated Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, to be their 2012 presidential candidate. During his acceptance speech, Johnson asked the 600-some delegates attending to nominate former California Superior Court Judge Jim Gray to be his running mate. In a vote that was slightly closer than Johnson′s win over long-time LP activist Lee Wrights, Gray edged out Wrights, too, for the vice presidential slot on the 2012 Libertarian Party ticket. The convention, which ran from May 2-6, was somewhat chaotic and disorganized, in true Libertarian fashion.

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Johnson won on the first ballot with just over 70% of the delegates. Lee Wrights came in second with about 26%. Other candidates, Jim Burns and Carl Person, and even NOTA (None Of The Above), rounded out the voting for president. After a short lunch break following Johnson′s victory speech, the delegates assembled to select their Veep. Gray finished on top with just under 60% with Lee Wrights in second with about 38%, Jim Burns and NOTA at about 1% each on their one and only ballot.

Johnson′s acceptance speech thanked Lee Wrights, with whom he has had some 12 debates. The former governor then went into his ″I Promise″ list. To end the war in Afghanistan and bring the troops home. To end the war on drugs here and legalize recreational use. To abolish the Department of Homeland Security, the IRS, etc. To advocate for same-sex marriage and gun owner rights, as well as reform our current immigration laws.. In short, Gary Johnson promised to end both welfare and warfare here in the United States.

Judge Jim Gray has an interesting background, well rooted in Libertarian ideals. He ran against Barbara Boxer as the LP US Senate candidate in 2004. He is well known for his stance on legalizing marijuana. Gray opposes the use of torture and all of the so-called ′Patriot Act′. He sees federal regulations as a main reason for the sour economy, and wants to eliminate the IRS and the Income Tax. Judge Gray also supports school choice to improve our education system and make it more responsive to the needs of the free market.

Personally, my favorite candidate who ran for president was Carl Persons. An attorney by profession, Persons is somewhat critical of the Libertarian Party for spending too much time on ′lofty issues′ like liberty and such. His speech before the convention on why he should get the nomination was very practical in its theme. Carl wants to focus on the ′99%′, which he sees as people worried mostly about the economy and jobs. Persons has an innovative scheme for creating upwards of 20 million jobs right away. He calls it ′Head Start′ for Small Businesses. The next three employees hired by a business, under his plan, would not be subject to ANY federal regulations! He even suggests that regulations themselves are what are preventing a proper training program for people to get the skills needed in today′s work place environments.

So there it is! Gary Johnson and Jim Gray will represent the 2012 Libertarian Party ticket. Gary Johnson was nominated as president and Jim Gray for vice president in Las Vegas today at the Libertarian Party National Convention. Lee Wrights finished second in both nomination ballots. Now we shall see if they can create enough of a buzz, without marijuana, to get enough public attention and qualify to join Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the debates this fall? I hope they do, but it will be a tough hill to climb. Fortunately, the former New Mexico governor, Gary Johnson, has climbed mountains before, including Mount Everest.