View Full Version : Libertarian Gary Johnson likely to appear on Ohio's ballot

08-15-2016, 09:27 PM
Libertarian Gary Johnson likely to appear on Ohio's ballot

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson likely will appear on the fall ballot as an independent candidate for president, the office of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said this afternoon.

State law neither allows nor prohibits the Libertarians' withdrawal of placeholder candidate Charlie Earl and the substitution of Johnson before the needed 5,000 petition signatures needed for an independent candidate are verified, Husted's office said in a memo.

"The law being unclear, Secretary Husted believes the spirit of ballot access should prevail," his office said. The formal approval of the swap will come if sufficient petition signatures are certified.

With today marking the deadline, the Libertarians submitted paperwork this morning withdrawing Earl and replacing him with former two-term New Mexico Gov. Johnson as an independent candidate.

In the filing, Johnson and his running mate, former two-term Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, accepted their nomination as independent candidates in Ohio.

Husted's office had said previously that it appeared the candidate swap could not occur before petition signatures were certified by county boards of elections, which only received the petitions on Friday.

Johnson has to run as an independent because a change in state law caused the Libertarians to lose their minor-party status that would have designated him by party -- instead of no description at all -- on the Nov. 8 ballot. The party unsuccessfully has appealed the change in federal courts.

“While it’s extremely out of character (for) Jon Husted to favor 'the spirit of ballot access,' we’re cautiously optimistic about that statement," Libertarian Party of Ohio spokesman Aaron Keith Harris said in a statement this afternoon.

"Perhaps he’s gotten the message that Ohioans are tired of him wasting their tax dollars on efforts to prevent alternative voices from being part of the democratic process that have given our state a bad name across the country.”

The party submitted more than 12,000 signatures nominating Earl, a would-be 2014 Libertarian candidate for governor, as an independent candidate last week.