Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson announced he's running for president as a Republican Thursday. Johnson is a libertarian most known for opposing the War on Drugs and supporting the legalization of marijuana (He recently admitted he smoked weed for pain between 2005 and 2008 after he broke his back in a paragliding accident. Why not declare intentions Wednesday, on 4/20?)
Ten months before the Iowa caucuses, the official Republican field is surprisingly small. Few of the likely candidates who lead in the polls have formed exploratory committees, and none among the top tier have officially announced they're running. Instead, the only guys to have filed officially are the fringe candidates with signature issues. That presents a problem for the media outlets who planned on hosting the primary debates--the first had to be canceled for lack of candidates. And, in a bit of a surprise, openly gay candidate Fred Karger has been invited to the "First in the South" debate in South Carolina.
Here's how the GOP field looks today:
Candidate: Gary Johnson
Resume: former two-term governor of New Mexico
Signature Issue: Marijuana
Candidate: Jimmy McMillan,
Resume: formerly of New York's Rent Is Too Damn High Party.
Signature Issue: Rent! Also walrus mustaches?
Candidate: Fred Karger
Resume: Key activist in fighting Prop 8 in California
Signature Issue: Gay Rights
Formed Exploratory Committees:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum
Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain
Exploring Forming an Exploratory Committee:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann
Soon-to-be-former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
Reality Star Donald Trump