Libertarian candidate beefs up fundraising operation

Gary Johnson: GOP Trump Alternative?
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Story highlights

  • Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is building out his fundraising operation
  • He's a fierce critic of Donald Trump's immigration policies

(CNN)Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson has created a joint fundraising committee with 15 states in hopes of building a larger network to boost the likely nominee's name identification in this year's general election.

The former two-term governor of New Mexico also ran for president in 2012, but only got about 1% of the popular vote. With a sizable amount of Republicans, however, vowing not to vote for presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump this November, Johnson is picking up more steam, even registering at 11% in three-way hypothetical race against Trump and Hillary Clinton, according to a recent Monmouth University poll.
    Johnson is expected to win his party's nomination at the Libertarian Party convention this weekend in Orlando, along with his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.
    Johnson's campaign announced Wednesday the formation of the Gary Johnson Victory Fund, which can accept up to five-figure donations from individuals. It's partnering with 15 states to raise money with the goal of building a "campaign infrastructure capable of raising name recognition for Gary Johnson significantly and boosting the candidate's polling numbers," according to a press release announcing the committee.
    The state Libertarian Party participants include Alabama, Alaska, California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.
    In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper this week, Johnson hit Trump's policy on immigration as "insanity" and offered a more inviting tone to immigrants. "We're going to now come in and knock down doors and they're going to be deported? It'd be like putting them on the moon," he said.