Seconds after former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson announced he is seeking the Presidential Nomination of the Libertarian Party in 2012, the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County, Pennsylvania voted unanimously to endorse him, becoming the first Libertarian Party group in the nation to do so.
Gary Johnson held a news conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico on December 28, 2011 during which he formally joined the Libertarian Party and announced he "is seeking the Libertarian Nomination for President of the United States". He described himself as "a successful two-term governor, elected and re-elected as a Republican in a Democratic state, who vetoed 750 spending bills to shrink government - while refusing to play the special interest game or impose a social agenda on people who prefer to make their own judgments about values".
Some quotations from Gary Johnson's announcement follow:
I am a Libertarian - that is, someone who is fiscally very conservative but holds freedom-based positions on many social issues.
I think America's government should be smaller and less intrusive...let people make decisions for themselves.
I'm a Libertarian in belief. I successfully governed as a Libertarian in everything but the name, and I am running for president as a Libertarian.
A credible Libertarian candidate for president is the real path to liberty, opportunity, and a government that is put into its proper and limited role.
This election needs a libertarian voice. While Ron Paul is a good man and a libertarian who I proudly endorsed for president in 2008, there is no guarantee he'll be the Republican nominee.
Patrick R. Killy, First Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County, speaking on behalf of the group, made the following comment with respect to the endorsement:
The Libertarian Party is very lucky to have a successful two-term Governor as its potential nominee for President of the United States in 2012. We thought it important to endorse him right after his announcement to show him that many Libertarian Party members and organizations are enthusiastic about his candidacy and ability to promote libertarian principles to Americans eager for an alternative to the two existing, statist, big government political parties.
Executive Committee members were generally pleased with the following points in Gary Johnson's announced Agenda for America:
- I want to end deficit spending and cut federal spending by 43%.
- I want to end the manipulation of our money by the Federal Reserve.
- I support the Second Amendment and oppose gun control.
- I want to enact the Fair Tax to stimulate real economic growth and jobs.
- I oppose expensive foreign wars in places like Libya and Afghanistan.
- I support a woman's right to choose.
- I support marriage equality for gay Americans as required by the Constitution.
- I support legalization of marijuana, which will save us billions and do no harm.
- I support returning strict adherence to Constitutional principles to our government.
Some opposition was voiced regarding Gary Johnson's support for a Fair Tax and the usual disagreements were present with respect to abortion and the need for national defense but, overall, there was unanimous support for the Libertarian Party of Northampton County going on record in support of Gary Johnson's candidacy for the Presidential Nomination of the Libertarian Party.
The Libertarian Party of Northampton County, Pennsylvania was formally organized on September 21, 2011. On October 3, 2011, Vernon Etzel, LPPA Secretary, reported the following: "It appears that a quorum was met and, lacking any dissenting votes, the motion is passed. Northampton County will be seated at the next board meeting...the intentions of the board are clear, and the recognition of the Northampton County chapter is settled." On November 12, 2011, the Board of Directors of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania confirmed the status of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County as a recognized "County Committee".