John Monds, a 2010 Georgia gubernatorial candidate, has announced that he will seek the Libertarian nomination for president.
Monds was also the first Libertarian candidate to receive more than 1 million votes at the state level during his 2008 campaign for Georgia public service commissioner.
“John Monds has been an incredible voice for Libertarians in Georgia," said Ryan Graham, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Georgia. "I look forward to seeing him extend that influence to a national scale, energizing supporters of libertarian principles.”
Monds said the decision was one he had weighed for the past several years.
“Just recently I've made up my mind that this is exactly what I want to do,” Monds said. “This is the right time.”
Monds said his focus right now is not about President Trump, but securing the nomination of the party.
“I'm not really concentrating on what he's doing,” Monds said. “My primary focus is to talk to the party members, delegates. I don't need to jump out before the cart.”
However, Monds said one thing that concerns him is the national deficit.
“The country is bankrupt. It's not a secret,” Monds said. “We need to work on changing the direction of where we're going.”
The Libertarian Party nominates their candidate through registered delegates at their national convention, which will take place in Austin, Texas, in May.
Monds said he’s open to reforming the Libertarian nomination process, but believes ballot access restrictions for third parties have been a factor in preventing that.
“Georgia has the worst ballot access laws in the country,” he said. “I mean, it's deplorable. And that puts us at a disadvantage.”
Monds declined to comment on the delayed Democratic Iowa caucus results.
“I haven't really paid a whole lot of attention to it,” he said. “That's them doing their thing.”
He believes the biggest way the Libertarian Party can make its case in 2020 is in sticking to its core principals.
“I definitely believe is we don't need to water down our message and we have to be very careful about that,” Monds said.
The Libertarian’s 2016 presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, received 3.27% of the popular vote in the last election, but did not win any electoral votes.