While Democrats and Republicans each held their watch parties in sizable hotels, Libertarians met at Blue Agave Republic, a bar in Albuquerque. The small group of candidates gathered around televisions and snacked on a cornucopia of finger food, as none of their candidates were elected to office in 2018.
Gary Johnson, Lloyd Princeton, Ginger Grider and A. Blair Dunn were some of the Libertarian candidates running for office.
Johnson ran for U.S. Senate, but lost to Democrat Martin Heinrich who earned 53.8 percent of the votes. Johnson previously ran for President in 2016 and served two terms as Governor of New Mexico as a Republican from 1995 to 2003.
Heading into Election Day, an Albuquerque Journal Poll revealed that Johnson was predicted to earn 16 percent of the votes, with Heinrich in the lead with 47 percent of the votes. The former governor earned almost 15 percent of the vote.
Johnson said his decision to run for Senate was last minute and that he was disappointed in himself for not winning.
“I am disappointed. I am not disappointed in anyone,” Johnson said. “I mean, I am the one that I am disappointed in.”
Princeton was the Libertarian candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in CD-1 and founder of Design Management Co. He has said the two-party system’s failure to represent New Mexicans motivated him to run in the first place.
An Albuquerque Journal Poll predicted Princeton to earn three percent of the votes, with Haaland in the lead with 49 percent of the votes. Democrat Deb Haaland won the election with 59.02 percent of the votes, while Princeton only 4.29 percent of the votes.
“I would have restructured (the campaign) the second time around,” Princeton said, reflecting on the race. “Money that was spent before maybe on branding would have been much better off spent in personal.”
The 2018 Midterms have been defined by the large number of women running for public office. Three out of 12 Libertarian candidates running in New Mexico were women, which Princeton said is an issue for the party.
“I can't say that the Libertarian party of New Mexico went out of their way to represent women,” Princeton said. “I am of the opinion that women are the single most oppressed class of people in the world. I don’t know if we can ever do enough… we could do more.”
Megan Holmen is the assistant news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or on Twitter @megan_holmen.