Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld Challenges President Trump for GOP Nomination
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld has announced he is officially entering the race for president, becoming the first Republican to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 race.
William Floyd Weld (born July 31, 1945) is an American attorney, businessman, and Republican politician who was the 68th Governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997 and the Libertarian Party’s nominee for Vice President of the United States in the 2016 election, sharing the ticket with Gary Johnson.
A Harvard and Oxford graduate, Weld began his career as legal counsel to the United States House Committee on the Judiciary before becoming the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and, later, the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division. He focused on a series of high-profile public corruption cases. He resigned in protest of an ethics scandal and associated investigations of Attorney General Edwin Meese.
In 1990, Weld was elected Governor of Massachusetts and reelected by the largest margin in Massachusetts history in the 1994 election. In 1996, he was the Republican nominee for the United States Senate, losing to Democratic incumbent John Kerry. He resigned as governor in 1997 to focus on his nomination by President Bill Clinton to serve as United States Ambassador to Mexico, but because of opposition by the social conservative Senate Foreign Relations committee Chairman Jesse Helms, he was denied a hearing before the Foreign Relations committee and withdrew his nomination.
In recent years, Weld has become involved in presidential politics. In 2016, he left the Republican Party to become the Libertarian Party running mate of former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson. Johnson and Weld were the first presidential ticket since 1948 to consist of two state governors. They jointly received nearly 4.5 million popular votes, the best showing ever for a Libertarian ticket, and the best for any third party since 1996.