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Gary Johnson Launches US Senate Bid, Says New Mexico Needs ‘Strong, Independent Voice’

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by Evie Fordham

Former Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson launched his bid to represent New Mexico in the U.S. Senate Tuesday after another libertarian candidate dropped out in late July.

“New Mexico deserves a strong, independent voice in the U.S. Senate,” Johnson wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

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The Twitter post included a YouTube video of a Johnson Senate campaign ad posted by the Elect Liberty PAC Monday. The post also included the hashtags #nmsen and #Senate.

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It will be a late start for Johnson, who would face Democratic incumbent Sen. Martin Heinrich. Heinrich’s safe seat could be jeopardized by Johnson’s name recognition, reported The Associated Press. New Mexico Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn quit the race as the libertarian candidate in late July.

“While Gary Johnson has been off pursuing the national spotlight and his personal ambitions, Martin Heinrich has been on the front lines fighting for New Mexicans,” said New Mexico Democratic Party chair Marg Elliston, according to the AP.

Republican candidate Mick Rich is also running in the general election in November.

“Johnson’s campaign is going to energize all of our campaigns here,” Chris Luchini, Libertarian Party of New Mexico Chair, told The Daily Caller News Foundation via telephone Tuesday.

Johnson served as New Mexico’s Republican governor from 1995 to 2003. He was the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee in both the 2012 and 2016 elections. Johnson received 9 percent of New Mexico’s votes in 2016, compared to his 3 percent nationally, reported the AP.

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