In the past several weeks, the New Mexico 2018 Senate race has considerably heated up. Previously, many did not expect New Mexico to be a competitive race for the potential blue wave. However, Former Governor Gary Johnson is beginning to make a change to this.
Last week, Libertarian candidate Aubrey Dunn withdrew from the senatorial race. His son, Blair Dunn, confirmed this news and started speculations that Johnson may enter the race.
Within a matter of days, the hype for the former governor grew. Several groups conducted polling, which showed Johnson defeating incumbent Martin Heinrich in a head to head election.
Not long after, New Mexico LP chair Chris Luchini declared that Johnson was “very interested” in joining the race.
But now, the next step towards his entering the race has occurred. Saturday night, the party’s central committee offered Johnson the now vacant spot of Dunn.
The former governor has two weeks to accept the offer, and due to the imminent election and a desire to win, may do so earlier rather than later. He declared Saturday, “A major factor is, simply, whether I can win. If I run, it will be with the intention to win.”
Several members of the New Mexico LP shared their desire for Johnson to enter the race, as well as support for Aubrey Dunn’s work for the liberty movement. Saturday night, Aubrey’s son, Blair Dunn, tweeted his support for both of the men.
— A. Blair Dunn (@ABDforNM) August 5, 2018
With the party seeming to rally around Johnson, it is still unclear whether he has a chance to win. Though head to head polls show him on top, three way polls show the Libertarian in a statistical tie for second, at about a quarter of the vote.
Republican nominee Mick Rich shares the same percentage. As he performs poorly in head to head polls, many are urging him to drop out in favor of Johnson.
Much is still up in the air, including whether Johnson will accept the offer, and how it will affect the shape of the race and the blue wave as a whole. If he accepts and ultimately wins, Johnson will be the first Libertarian United States Senator in history.
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