December 28. 2011 12:00PM

Gary Johnson makes switch to Libertarian Party official

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has left the Republican Party, stating he will instead seek the Libertarian Party presidential nomination.

Johnson, considered a longshot as a GOP primary candidate, made the announcement this morning at a news conference in New Mexico. The Libertarian Party nominee will appear on the presidential ballot in all 50 states.

“It was both a difficult decision, and an easy one,” said Johnson in a release. “It was difficult because I have a lot of Republican history, and a lot of Republican supporters. But in the final analysis, as many, many commentators have said since watching how I governed New Mexico, I am a Libertarian.”

In announcing the switch, Johnson stated he was disappointed with the treatment he received in the GOP. Johnson was invited to take part in just two GOP presidential debates.

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner's office confirmed this morning that Johnson will remain on the Republican Party ballot for the state's presidential primary on Jan. 10, 2012, and will not appear as a Libertarian Party candidate, due to the timing of his announcement and its close proximity to the primary date.