If you haven’t been following the race in New Mexico for the US Senate, you won’t be missing much. The Libertarian Party nominated Gary Johnson as their candidate. The third party is putting a lot of eggs in their failed presidential candidate’s basket to claim their first major election win. Gary Johnson’s presence makes the New Mexico Race a 3 man race. Rand Paul weighed in gave Johnson his sign of approval, breaking party lines.
.@GovGaryJohnson is a true fiscal conservative. As Governor, he reduced the size of government while improving services. He will be an important ally and a critical independent voice in the US Senate. https://t.co/lbNux2Aqo7
— Rand Paul (@DrRandPaul) August 28, 2018
Legitimizing a weak candidate doesn’t do much to help the cause of Liberty. Even if Johnson is fiscally conservative, he was too pro-abortion to gain any traction during his failed run for President. The tweet by Rand Paul also came off as insulting to many in the liberty movement.
Senator, if your goal is to make sure Martin Heinrich sits in the senate for 6 more years, then supporting Johnson is definitely the right thing to do.
Good work. (that was sarcasm)
— Thomas Paine II (@t2paine) August 28, 2018
This is a reminder of how Rand Paul repeatedly ignored Austen Petersen’s senate campaign which featured a great opportunity to send another liberty minded candidate into the Senate. Yet in New Mexico, where the Republican candidate is actually solid, Rand Paul chooses the long shot over the safer liberty minded bet.
How competitive was the race?
The GOP has lost the last two runs in New Mexico by single digits, hovering around 45%. Five points wasn’t an impossible feat. But five points with a third party candidate undermining a close race, is insurmountable, at a glance. Mick Rich seemed like a genuine and likable Conservative candidate. Back in June, it was noted in Conservative Picks for the New Mexico Primary that Mick Rich was a solid candidate who could win.
Mick Rich is surprisingly the only Republican running for the Senate in New Mexico. Even other blue states can’t boast that. Despite the lack of competition, it’s still important to at least vet him. Rich’s background is in construction. In searching Mick Rich’s platform he has more advanced Conservative positions than your typical campaign conservative. He’s the real deal from an ideological standpoint. It is worth noting that his campaign skills may be lacking. His social media presence is saddening for a Senate candidate who is unopposed. November is months away and he has a lot of ground to make up. In the last two Senate races, Republicans have hovered around 45% of the vote. This race is winnable, but it will require a lot of work.
Mick Rich doesn’t come off as a great campaigner, but it’s highly unlikely he finishes third in this race. Gary Johnson on the other hand could do what third party candidates rarely do: break into double digits. Gary Johnson, essentially finished the race before the election day, handing Martin Heinrich the swift reelection.
Which candidate was better for liberty?
Gary Johnson is notoriously pro-abortion which was a huge deterrence to disgruntled Conservatives during his presidential campaign. He also answered in a debate that he believed bakers should be forced to bake cakes for gay couples. During a Libertarian forum, the subject came up to much rebuke.
During the first hour of the Libertarian Party presidential forum that aired Friday night on the Fox Business Network, leading Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson admitted that in his view, Jewish bakers should be forced by government to bake wedding cakes for Nazis.
The issue arose when fellow Libertarian presidential candidate Austin Petersen brought to the attention of moderator John Stossel that in an earlier debate in Oregon, Johnson declared that bakeries should be forced to bake wedding cakes for gay couples. Johnson affirmed the position, arguing that being able to discriminate on the basis of religion is a “black hole.” Petersen pushed Johnson on the issue and asked whether he felt Jewish bakers should be forced to bake wedding cakes for Nazi customers. Stossel directed the question to Johnson, who replied “that would be my contention, yes.”
To Johnson’s credit, he is rather strong on Amendment 4 even if weak on Amendment 1. Mick Rich, in contrast, is staunchly pro-life, something Rand Paul is a leading voice in the Senate for. Rich also makes it a campaign theme to implement free market solutions in healthcare, which Johnson does not. Both candidates have a similar taxation policy, with mention of eliminating special interest loopholes and a immigration policy that emphasizes assimilation. A border wall would likely be the separating factor on this issue. The two candidates aren’t that dissimilar on their platforms, but Gary Johnson has a much longer history of buffoonery and inconsistent positions especially in regards to personal liberties. He would most certainly be a wildcard in the Senate, as opposed to a consistent liberty minded vote. The liberty movement doesn’t need wildcards, it needs reinforcements.