LAS VEGAS, May 5 (UPI) -- Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson Saturday won the Libertarian Party nomination for U.S. president.
Johnson, who spent much of last year seeking the Republican Party's nomination, received 70 percent percent of the vote in the first round of balloting at the Libertarians' national convention in Las Vegas. He received 419 of the 595 votes cast, while R. Lee Wrights of Texas came in second with 152 votes, the party said in a release on its Web site.
The Taos, N.M., businessman said he will offer U.S. voters a clear and viable alternative to Democratic President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee. The long-shot candidate said the Libertarian platform will offer Americans effective solutions to sluggish economic growth, high unemployment and overseas military commitments that weaken the country's financially.
"I am honored and I just want to pledge that no one will be disappointed. We're going to grow the Libertarian Party," he said.
Joining Johnson on the Libertarian ticket was Judge James P. Gray of Newport Beach, Calif., party officials said. Gray received 59 percent of the vote in the first round, He received 357 votes to Wrights' 229.
"I am proud. I am invigorated. I am excited," said Gray, whose goals are to downsize the federal government and legalize marijuana. "With Gov. Gary Johnson. I am determined to bring back prosperity and liberty to the United States of America."