Thursday, May 19, 2016

Gary Johnson chooses Bill Weld for running mate

Bill Weld throws hat into ring as Libertarian VP | Boston Herald - Matt Stout & Kimberley Atkins:

May 19, 2016 - "Former Gov. Bill Weld has officially leaped into the race for the White House, joining the third-party Libertarian ticket led by Gary Johnson as the former New Mexico governor’s running mate.

"The prospect of such a move — floated this week when Johnson’s campaign confirmed that Weld was being 'seriously considered' — was initially met with skepticism in Bay State GOP circles yesterday.

"But Johnson scored headlines yesterday by landing Weld, telling the Associated Press the two 'shook hands on it.' A campaign spokesman later confirmed that Weld had agreed to join the ticket, saying a formal announcement was scheduled for today.

"'It brings an enormous amount of credibility to what it is I’m doing­,' Johnson said of Weld’s decision to run. 'I’m unbelievably­ flattered by this and humbled.'

"Weld ran as both a Republican and a Libertarian during an unsuccessful­ bid for New York governor in 2006 — but never made it to the primary vote and didn’t have to choose. A former federal prosecutor and 1996 Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate, he’s remained in the private sector since, joining ML Strategies as a lobbyist, where he’s built a client list that includes casino mogul Steve Wynn.

"Weld has remained active politi­cally, endorsing candidates — including sometimes Democrats, to the chagrin of the state GOP — and had previously backed Jeb Bush and later Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the Republican presidential primary. Yesterday, former Weld aides responded­ with incredulity to the notion that Weld would accept the long-shot Libertarian veep slot....

"Johnson indicated that Weld could help drum up his fundraising. Johnson had raised roughly $279,000 through the first three months of this year, according to federal campaign filings.

"'He could be a huge influence when it comes to fundraising. Huge,' Johnson said. “That was something that he in fact volunteered — that he enjoys­ doing it.'"

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