(CNN) – Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson announced his intention to seek the Libertarian nomination for president Wednesday.
Calling his choice "both a difficult decision-and an easy one," in a statement, Johnson decried the Republican presidential nomination process and pledged to bring a "libertarian voice" to the 2012 race.
Johnson blasted the inclusion of "candidates with no national name identification like Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and John Huntsman" as well as "candidates with no executive experience like Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum" in presidential debates while he was "arbitrarily excluded by elitist media organizations in New York."
The former two-term governor struggled to gain footing in national polls measuring support for GOP candidates seeking the 2012 presidential nomination and failed to meet criteria necessary to participate in debates. However, he has attended two debates: one in May, and another in September after reaching one percent support in five national polls.
And after "appeals to the Republican National Chairman for basic fairness were ignored," Johnson said he concluded that "the best answer is the simplest."
"I'm a Libertarian in belief. I successfully governed as a Libertarian in everything but the name, and I am running for president as a Libertarian."
As for that other Libertarian already running for president, "While Ron Paul is a good man and a libertarian who I proudly endorsed for president in 2008, there is no guarantee he will be the Republican nominee," Johnson said.
So far, he claimed "just the speculation that I might run as a Libertarian has garnered more national media attention than I ever received as a Republican candidate."
"I am excited," Johnson said. "I am liberated."