Gary Johnson for President

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson won the Libertarian Party nomination for President of the United States Saturday, beating North Carolina native son R. Lee Wrights on the first ballot.

Accepting the nomination, Johnson said, “Millions of Americans want and deserve the opportunity to vote for a candidate in November who will get us out of the war in Afghanistan immediately, truly cut federal spending, end the failed war on drugs, repeal the Patriot Act, and support marriage equality.

“I am excited to offer that option: A proven fiscal conservative, a proven defender of civil liberties, and an advocate for social tolerance.”

Johnson said he would support gun rights and gay rights, and oppose warfare spending and welfare spending.

A successful businessman who lives in Taos, N.M., Johnson is known as an unwavering crusader for fiscal responsibility, free enterprise and individual freedoms. During his gubernatorial tenure, he used his veto pen more than 750 times to forestall attempts to grow government and put an end to wasteful government projects.

He cut taxes 14 while maintaining New Mexico as one of only four states in the country with a balanced budget. The state boasted a $1 billion budget surplus when Johnson left office in 2003.

Libertarians also choose Johnson’s choice, former Judge Jim Gray, as their vice presidential nominee.

A successful jurist who lives in Newport Beach, Calif. and presided over the Superior Court of Orange County, Gray has been active in the Libertarian Party for several decades.

Gray was the 2004 Libertarian Party candidate for the U.S. Senate in California challenging incumbent Barbara Boxer. He’s also the chief proponent of a California ballot initiative called “Regulate Marijuana Like Wine” that, if passed, would decriminalize cannabis consumption and production.

Convention delegates also reinforced the party’s platform, leaving unchanged the fundamental tenants of the Libertarian Party. That is, individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. One significant change adopted was to add ballot initiatives to the party’s mission.