Gary Johnson's five former New Hampshire staffers announced Friday that they are now endorsing Ron Paul for president.
"Like many political observers, we see clear and compelling differences between Congressman Ron Paul and the other candidates who will garner significant support in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary," the five former staffers said in a statement.
The five staffers include Brinck Slattery, Johnson's former state coordinator; Matt Simon, his former communications director; Nick Murray, his former Seacoast field coordinator and college coordinator; Andy Hauger, his former Merrimack Valley field coordinator; and Eric Jackman, his former Southwestern New Hampshire field coordinator. All five earlier this year due to frustration with the national campaign.
Their endorsement of Paul comes just two days after Johnson announced that he was no longer seeking the GOP presidential nomination, and would instead be .
"It's something we'd talked about, and we discussed the timing, and certainly his announcement Wednesday made it easier to go ahead with this," Simon said Friday morning.
He said the decision to endorse Paul made sense given that Johnson and Paul have "very similar ideas" – particularly the idea of less government.
"There are two like-minded candidates in this race," Simon said. "At this point it comes down to ideas, and the vast differences between Ron Paul and the other candidates we've seen play out in the last couple weeks."
But Simon didn't rule out voting for Johnson in November if Paul doesn't win the Republican nomination.
If it comes down to Barack Obama versus Mitt Romney, or Obama versus Newt Gingrich, he said, "I think most of us would be glad to have Governor Johnson as an option in November."
Simon said he believes only Jackman will be actively campaigning for Paul in the days leading up to the Jan. 10 New Hampshire Primary.