2012 Libertarian National Convention

The 2012 Libertarian National Convention, in which delegates of the Libertarian Party (LP) chose the party's nominees for president and vice president in the 2012 general election, was held May 2–6, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino.[1][2] Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson won the presidential nomination on the first ballot.[3] Retired California state court judge Jim Gray won the vice presidential nomination, also on the first ballot.[4] The convention also chose to replace most of the Libertarian National Committee party officers and members-at-large.

2012 Libertarian National Convention
2012 presidential election
Garyjohnsonphoto.JPG Jim Gray (cropped).jpg
Johnson and Gray
Date(s)May 2–6, 2012
CityLas Vegas, Nevada
VenueRed Rock Resort Spa and Casino
ChairRuth Bennett (WA)
Keynote speakerMichael Cloud
Notable speakersTheodora "Tonie" Nathan
Edward Clark
Mary Ruwart
Presidential nomineeGary Johnson of New Mexico
Vice presidential nomineeJim Gray of California
Total delegates593
Votes needed for nomination297
‹ 2010  ·  2014 ›
Map of United States showing Charlotte, Tampa, Nashville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Baltimore
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Sites of the 2012 national party conventions.

The theme of this convention was Liberty Will Win.[5]

Several non-binding advisory primaries were held ahead of the convention as part of the 2012 Libertarian Party presidential primaries.

Host selectionEdit

This was the first presidential nominating convention ever held in the Las Vegas Valley.[1][2][6] Other cities that bid to host the convention included Dallas, Texas, and San Francisco, California.[6]

Candidates debateEdit

In February 2012, Gary Johnson, Lee Wrights, Bill Still, Carl Person, and Leroy Saunders participated in a debate held by the Libertarian Party of Florida and moderated by LPUSA Chair Mark Hinkle.[citation needed] The debate participants were selected by convention delegates in a secret ballot, in which a candidate needed to score 10 percent of the vote or higher to be allowed to take part. Libertarian candidates in the debate called for ending government interference in personal, family and business decisions; much lower government spending; deregulation; lower taxes; a currency free of government manipulation; free trade; and a peaceful, non-interventionist foreign policy.[7]


The convention covered five days over May 2–6. The business of deciding the national platform and candidates formally began on May 3, and a second candidate debate was held on May 4. On May 5, the party nominated Gary Johnson as its presidential candidate and Jim Gray as vice presidential candidate. On May 6, elections for the Libertarian National Committee concluded.[8]

Candidates for the presidential nomination were required to gather "tokens" from delegates. 53 tokens were required to participate in debates, while 30 were needed to be listed on the ballot.[9][unreliable source] [10]

Convention speakersEdit

Speakers at the convention included:[11]

Presidential candidatesEdit

Libertarian Party presidential candidates, 2012
Candidate Home state Profession Campaign
  Jim Burns Nevada
  Jim Duensing Nevada 2012 Boston Tea Party presidential nominee
(nominated at their March 30 convention)
  R. J. Harris Oklahoma United States Army National Guard (campaign)
  Gary Johnson New Mexico Governor of New Mexico
  Carl Person New York Attorney (campaign)
  Sam Sloan New York Member of the executive board of the United States Chess Federation
Manhattan Libertarian Party County Committee Director of Media Relations (2006–2007)
  R. Lee Wrights Texas Vice chair of the Libertarian National Committee

Presidential delegate countEdit

2012 Libertarian National Convention presidential vote[12]
Candidate first ballot Percentage
Gary Johnson 419 70.4%
R. Lee Wrights 152 25.6%
Jim Burns 12 2.0%
Carl Person 3 0.5%
NOTA 3 0.5%
Sam Sloan (write-in) 2 0.3%
Max Abramson (write-in) 2 0.3%
Ron Paul (write-in) 1 0.2%
Wayne Allyn Root (write-in) 1 0.2%
Totals 595 100%
2012 Libertarian National Convention vice-presidential vote[12]
Candidate first ballot Percentage
Jim Gray 357 59.5%
R. Lee Wrights 229 38.2%
NOTA 7 1.2%
Jim Burns 6 1.0%
Sam Sloan (write-in) 1 0.2%
Totals 600 100%

Libertarian National Committee electionsEdit

The 2012 Libertarian National Convention saw a two-day election of officers and members-at-large of the Libertarian National Committee officers leading to the defeat of most of the incumbents who were seen as being part of a "top-down faction".[13][14] The voting for chair saw the first instance where "None of the Above", which was listed as a choice on the party ballot, received more votes than any of the candidates for chair. After a new list of individuals was nominated, Geoff Neale was elected chair. R. Lee Wrights was elected Vice Chair, Ruth Bennett Secretary, and Tim Hagan Treasurer. Elected as national committee members-at-large were Bill Redpath, Michael Cloud, Arvin Vohra, and Wayne Allyn Root.[15]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Myers, Laura (November 30, 2010) "Las Vegas will host Libertarian convention", Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Malcolm, Andrew (November 30, 2010) "Las Vegas gets its first national political convention", Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
  3. ^ Pratt, Timothy (May 5, 2012). "Libertarians nominate ex-Governor Gary Johnson for president". Reuters. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  4. ^ Cassidy, Austin (May 5, 2012). "Libertarians Nominate Judge Jim Gray for Vice-President". Uncovered Politics. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  5. ^ "Welcome to 2012 Libertarian National Convention". May 9, 2012. Archived from the original on May 9, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Winger, Richard (November 21, 2010) "Libertarian Presidential Convention Will be May 4–6, 2012, in Las Vegas", Ballot Access News. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  7. ^ "Libertarian National Convention Chooses Presidential Debaters". Lpgeorgia.com. May 5, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  8. ^ Libertarian National Committee. "2012 Convention Schedule". Archived from the original on June 24, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  9. ^ "Token count for LP presidential candidates". Independentpoliticalreport.com. May 4, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  10. ^ "Brief recap of the Libertarian National Convention". Archived from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  11. ^ "Liberty Will Win – Libertarian Party Information". Libertywillwin.com. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Winger, Richard (May 5, 2012). "Gary Johnson Nominated by Libertarian Party on First Ballot". Ballot Access News. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  13. ^ Garrett Quinn,Gary Johnson: The LNC Chair Race is Exciting! Interesting!, Reason magazine, May 6, 2012
  14. ^ Garret Quinn, Starchild Is Here, Reason magazine, May 6, 2012.
  15. ^ Winger, Richard (May 6, 2012) "Libertarian Party Takes Two Days to Choose Party Officers", Ballot Access News.

External linksEdit