Gary Johnson will quit the Republican primaries and seek the Libertarian Party nomination instead, POLITICO has learned.
The former two-term New Mexico governor, whose campaign for the GOP nomination never caught fire, will make the announcement at a press conference in Santa Fe on Dec. 28. Johnson state directors will be informed of his plans on a campaign conference call Tuesday night, a Johnson campaign source told POLITICO.
The move has been expected for weeks -- Johnson had run a New Hampshire-centric effort that never got him past a blip in the polls. He appeared at only two nationally televised debates, and only one in which other major candidates took part.
Johnson expressed deep disillusionment with the process as his libertarian message failed to catch fire and he received almost no attention for his bid. He soon began flirting with the Libertarians when it became clear that he was gaining no traction in GOP primaries.
"I'm still in the race," Johnson told POLITICO last month. "I'm registered in New Hampshire and the intention would be, hope against hope that I would be able to be heard. But there is not much hope."