Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate says the Libertarian Party has obtained official political party status in Iowa.

Pate says the status began effective Wednesday after state election officials determined the party's presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, received 59,186 votes — or 3.8 percent of the vote — in the November 2016 general election.

That surpassed the 2 percent threshold required by Iowa law to obtain official political party status.

The new status gives the Libertarian Party the ability to participate in primary elections in 2018. "Libertarian" will be included as an option for Iowa residents on voter registration forms.

The last time a third party gained political party status in Iowa was in 2000, when Green Party nominee Ralph Nader received 2.2 percent of the votes cast for president.