Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld has emerged atop the shortlist of potential running mates for likely Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson.
Weld served as a libertarian-leaning Republican governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997. Before that, President Ronald Reagan appointed Weld United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. He was later selected to head the Department of Justice Criminal Division.
A source close to the Johnson campaign who wished to remain anonymous confirmed that Weld is considered the “likely choice at this point” for the VP slot, but admitted that “vetting is ongoing.”
Johnson’s campaign manager, Ron Nielson, declined to comment on specifics related to the campaign’s vice presidential selection process.
With the possible addition of Weld to Johnson’s campaign, Libertarians could boast their most formidable slate ever. The ticket would feature two popular, twice-elected governors. Johnson served as the governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003 as a Republican.
The 70-year-old Weld could also provide Johnson with an infusion of money. A successful businessman and a capable fundraiser, Weld has remained close to potential donors in recent years as a powerful state government lobbyist.
Weld also recently served as attorney and chief lobbyist for Steve Wynn when the Las Vegas casino magnate sought, and received, a state license to develop a $2 billion resort and casino in Everett, Massachusetts.
Wynn is known for donating to limited government and free market-oriented Republicans, as well as speaking at Freedom Fest, a libertarian convention held annually in Las Vegas.
The source confirmed that Wynn would be a fundraising target if Johnson secures the nomination.
Johnson continues to face formidable challenges for the Libertarian Party presidential nominee from Austin Peterson, the 35-year-old founder of The Libertarian Republic magazine, and anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee.
The Libertarian Party will nominate its presidential candidate during the party’s national convention in Orlando later this month. Johnson’s campaign is expected to name a vice-presidential pick before the convention kicks off on May 26.