McAfee fails in White House bid, Opelika ties may remain


By Greg Markley
Opelika Observer

It has been nine months since John McAfee, the colorful and creative computer whiz and businessman, began his quest to be U.S. president. His announcement from Opelika gave this city TV, radio, print and social media coverage across the country. McAfee is no stranger to publicity. He is known worldwide as developer of the first commercial anti-virus program.
Now, McAfee’s dream is done: Voters at the 2016 Libertarian Party conference chose the same man who ran four years ago: Gary Johnson, a two-term governor of New Mexico. He will run with vice presidential nominee William Weld, a former governor of Massachusetts.
On the second ballot at the convention in Orlando, Johnson had 56 percent, Austin Petersen had 22 percent, and McAfee took 14 percent.  At a televised debate prior to this vote, McAfee said:  “This criminal enterprise masquerading as a government encroaches on our personal freedoms at every turn, and that’s why I’m running for president as a Libertarian.”
McAfee, 70, has been investing time and resources in Round House, a collaborative startup space with areas of concentration for developers, designers, entrepreneurs, founders, startups and creatives. He is working on new safety applications with the business incubator for mobile device users’ to protect their privacy and families.
Round House is on South 8th Street and opened in 2014. The location is a bonus, as Opelika is one of only seven U.S. cities that offer fiber network to residents and businesses. “When you can get great minds together in an open space, great things happen,” McAfee said the day he announced his presidential run. That effort failed, but John McAfee is expected to occasionally return to Opelika, where he knows dreams are welcome.


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