The Libertarian Party on Saturday picked Jo Jorgensen, a psychologist and grandmother who was the party’s vice presidential nominee in 1996, to be its nominee for president in the 2020 election.
Libertarians made their choice in a virtual convention. They continue meeting online today to pick a vice presidential nominee.
“I am glad that the voters will finally have a real choice because the non-choice between Trump and Biden is still an option between big government and more big government,” said Ms. Jorgensen, 63.
She is the first woman to top the party’s ticket. She is also a decade younger than President Trump and 14 years younger than former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Democrats’ presumptive nominee.
The Libertarian nominee in 2016, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, appeared on the ballot in all 50 states in the District of Columbia. The party says it aims to repeat that feat this year.
Mr. Johnson and running mate former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld earned nearly 4.5 million votes, good for more than 3% of the popular total — but failed to win any electoral votes.
in 1996, when Ms. Jorgensen was the vice presidential nominee to Harry Browne, they collected about 500,000 votes.
Ms. Jorgensen teaches at Clemson University and runs her own consulting company.
She says she adheres to the party’s platform, and is proposing allowing Americans to opt out from Social Security, to eliminate the federal Education Department and to remove immigration “quotas” to allow people to enter the U.S. freely.
She also says she would refuse to allow any new borrowing and would veto any bill that would lead to deeper deficits.
So far this year the federal government has borrowed about 45 cents of every dollar it has spent, and that ratio is only getting worse with the coronavirus response. Ms. Jorgensen’s pledge would likely cripple those efforts.
The convention was to be held in Austin, Texas, but was moved online amid the coronavirus crisis.
Libertarians said their online convention is the first of its kind for a party with nationwide ballot access.
“In an age of social distancing, the Libertarian Party has risen to the challenge, practicing personal responsibility and professionalism while conducting the business of the party in a timely and efficient manner,” the party said.