With new ballot access, Libertarian Party awaits candidates

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The failed campaign for president last year by former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson should provide Libertarian candidates with ready access to the ballot in 2018 as a major party, after he won 9 percent of the statewide vote.

But not one candidate in Johnson’s home state as of Monday had registered to run for statewide office or Congress under the Libertarian banner that espouses minimal government and maximum personal freedom.

State Libertarian Party Chairwoman Elizabeth Hanes says at least five people have expressed interest in the Libertarian nomination for governor.

Astrophysics student Grady Owens of the tiny crossroads community of Mayhill in southern New Mexico has begun collecting signatures from registered Libertarians for what he acknowledges as a longshot run for Congress in New Mexico’s southern district.

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