Politics

Libertarian Gary Johnson Scores First Congressional Endorsement

Retiring Virginia Rep. Scott Rigell has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump

Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., is the first member of Congress to back Libertarian candidate for president Gary Johnson. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Virginia Republican Scott Rigell is backing the Libertarian candidate for president, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, he told the New York Times .   

He's the first member of Congress to back Johnson, who's running with former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld.   

Rigell has been a supporter of the "Never Trump" movement for months. “I’ve always said I will not vote for Donald Trump and I will not vote for Hillary Clinton,” Rigell said.  

The three-term congressman represents Virginia's 2nd District, a military-heavy Republican seat on the coast. He announced in January that he would not run for re-election because he had achieved what he set out to do.   

His district has since been redrawn, making it slightly more Republican. Neighboring Rep. J. Randy Forbes, whose 4th District became more Democratic in redistricting, tried running for the GOP nomination in Rigell's open seat — with his backing — but fell short in the primary .   

A handful of vulnerable Republicans have said they will not vote for Trump. Illinois Rep. Robert J. Dold , Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk and Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo have all said Trump won't get their vote. This week, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger joined them in saying he won't vote for Trump.  

[ Vulnerable Republican Doesn't Rule Out Voting for Clinton ]  

But so far, only retiring members of Congress have pledged their support to one of the other presidential candidates. On Tuesday, retiring Rep. Richard Hanna, a moderate Republican from upstate New York, became the first member to announce that he'd vote for Hillary Clinton .

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