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Poker News | World Poker News

Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson Supports Online Poker

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If you are one of the millions of online poker players who are raging mad over Black Friday, this is your chance to vote for online poker! With the presidential race heating up and more candidates stepping into the political arena to make a run for the White House, there is one candidate poker players will want to meet – and that is Gary Johnson.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is throwing his hat and his cards in the ring and openly campaigning for poker player’s financial support and votes by supporting online poker. Not only is this one of the few times a Republican has supported online poker legislation, but it is the first time a presidential candidate has publicly done so.

Targeting poker players on his website, Johnson states: "Support me for President, and I'll support your freedom. The federal government should not be involved in restricting lawful commerce that doesn't harm anyone." He is also asking poker players to support his bid for office and ‘participate in your freedom’ by donating to the cause and pledging money by clicking on cleverly designed poker chip images on his website.

In a bid to reach out to the poker community, Johnson is on his way to Las Vegas where he is scheduled to be at the Rio on Thursday for the start of the WSOP Main Event. Later that evening he will make an appearance at the World Series of Poker party at the Wynn Poker Room, then be back at the Rio on Friday to man the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) booth from 1 to 3 p.m.

"He cares about this issue," said Poker Players Alliance executive director John Pappas. "He also realizes there is a serious voting block of people out there and believes that their ideologies, not just on poker but [on] other issues, probably align with his."

For a presidential candidate, especially a Republican one to actively recruit support from poker players is big news in the poker community. It shows that efforts to advance the cause of poker players by the PPA and others in Washington, D.C. may finally be paying off.

Poker has gained a certain amount of respect over the years since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed in 2006. With the recent events surrounding Black Friday, displaced online poker players continue to look for ways to help make online poker legal and Gary Johnson may be the best hope.

"He's a down-to-Earth guy," Pappas said. "He's real. He talks the talk and walks the walk. Whether his campaign has the ability to make a run at the nomination is still a question mark, but what he believes is very much aligned with my personal beliefs."

For years poker players were not even considered as a group who could be influential in politics. But now, at least Johnson seems to recognize that poker players as a group can make a difference at the polls and he is actively recruiting them to help him get elected. For any candidate to see the value in the poker vote is progress but Johnson’s other controversial stances could dash his chances to land in the White House.

Not many Republican’s will endorse nominating a presidential candidate who admits; not going to church, says he will never reference God, believes in abortion rights and favors legalizing marijuana and prostitution – even if he is a fellow party member. But then again, no one ever thought he would ever be elected as Governor of Democrat laden New Mexico either, let alone get re-elected for a second term.

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