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Johnson Leaves GOP Presidential Race to Run as Libertarian

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a longshot candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, said Wednesday he is leaving the GOP in favor of running as a Libertarian. 

Johnson told a news conference at the state Capitol that the decision was difficult but that he "was deeply disappointed by the treatment I received in the Republican nomination process." 

Johnson has been excluded from all but two GOP presidential debates. He also has barely registered in the polls. 

The former two-term governor said that if he earns the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination, he will appear on the ballots in all 50 states and will not be "held hostage to a system rigged for the wealthiest and best-known candidates in a handful of states who happen to have early primaries." 

Johnson is fiscally conservative but supports such liberal causes as legalizing marijuana and abortion rights.

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