TIME Evan McMullin

Evan McMullin Faces Running Mate Woes

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - AUGUST 10: Former CIA agent Evan McMullin announces his presidential campaign as an Independent candidate on August 10, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Supporters gathered in downtown Salt Lake City for the launch of his Utah petition drive to collect the 1000 signatures McMullin needs to qualify for the presidential ballot. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
George Frey—Getty Images Former CIA agent Evan McMullin announces his presidential campaign as an Independent candidate in Salt Lake City on Aug. 10, 2016.

The Never Trump wing of the Republican Party had a hard time finding a candidate to run for president. Now it appears the candidate they found is having some trouble finding a running mate.

When independent candidate Evan McMullin filed in several states—including Louisiana, Utah, Idaho and Arkansas—he put down as his vice presidential pick a man named Nathan Johnson.

Campaign spokesman Rick Wilson told Politico that Johnson is a close personal friend of McMullin who agreed to serve as a “placeholder” on the ballot until his actual running mate was named.

In a lengthy statement, the campaign insisted that Politico’s report that Johnson’s name will appear on the ballot in at least eight states is incorrect while admitting that their approach is unconventional.

“After Mr. McMullin wins states like Utah where the electorate views both the major party candidates with disdain, Mr. McMullin’s electors may simply vote for the person that Mr. McMullin selects as his running mate,” the statement reads.

It continues, “even if that was not an option and Evan wins the White House, Vice President Johnson may simply resign. Section 2 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment provides the mechanism for President McMullin to then nominate a replacement.”

What remains unclear, however, is who exactly Nathan Johnson is and whether he’d be willing to resign should the longshot candidate actually win.

In an interview with The Hill Wednesday, McMullin merely said Johnson is a longtime friend he’s so close with he told him about his secret CIA position.

The McMullin campaign did not respond to a request from TIME for comment.

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE TIME.COM!

Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team