|29th Governor of New Mexico|
January 1, 1995 – January 1, 2003
|Preceded by||Bruce King|
|Succeeded by||Bill Richardson|
|Born||Gary Earl Johnson
January 1, 1953
Minot, North Dakota, U.S.
|Political party||Libertarian (2011–present)|
|Republican (before 2011)|
|Spouse(s)||Dee Simms (1977–2005)|
|Domestic partner||Kate Prusack (Engaged 2009–present)|
|Alma mater||University of New Mexico, Albuquerque|
This article is part of a series on
Gary Earl Johnson (born January 1, 1953) is an American businessman and politician. He served as the 29th Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, as a member of the Republican Party, and was the Libertarian Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election. In November 2014 Johnson announced that he would run again for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination in 2016.
Born in Minot, North Dakota, Johnson moved with his family to New Mexico in his childhood. While a student at the University of New Mexico in 1974, Johnson sustained himself financially by working as a door-to-door handyman. In 1976 he founded Big J Enterprises, which grew from this one-person venture to become one of New Mexico's largest construction companies. He entered politics for the first time by running for Governor of New Mexico in 1994 on a fiscally conservative, low-tax and anti-crime platform. Johnson won the Republican Party of New Mexico's gubernatorial nomination, and defeated incumbent Democratic governor Bruce King. During his tenure as governor, Johnson became known for his low-tax libertarian views, adhering to policies of tax and bureaucracy reduction supported by a cost–benefit analysis rationale. He cut the 10% annual growth in the budget: in part, due to his use of the gubernatorial veto 200 times during his first six months in office. Johnson set state and national records for his use of veto and line-item veto powers: estimated to have been more than the other 49 contemporary governors combined, which gained him the nicknames "Veto Johnson" and "Governor Veto".
Johnson successfully sought re-election in 1998. In his second term, he concentrated on the issue of school voucher reforms, as well as campaigning for marijuana decriminalization and legalization, and opposition to the War on Drugs. Term limited, Johnson could not run for re-election at the end of his second term. As a fitness enthusiast known for his strong emphasis on personal health and aptitude, Johnson has taken part in several Ironman Triathlons, and he climbed Mount Everest in May 2003. After leaving office, Johnson founded the non-profit Our America Initiative in 2009, a political advocacy committee seeking to promote policies such as free enterprise, foreign non-interventionism, limited government and privatization. He endorsed the Republican presidential candidacy of Congressman Ron Paul in the 2008 election.
Johnson announced his candidacy for president on April 21, 2011, as a Republican, on a libertarian platform emphasizing the United States public debt and a balanced budget through a 43% reduction of all federal government spending, protection of civil liberties, an immediate end to the War in Afghanistan and his advocacy of the FairTax. On December 28, 2011, after being excluded from the majority of the Republican Party's presidential debates and failing to gain traction while campaigning for the New Hampshire primary, he withdrew his candidacy for the Republican nomination and announced that he would continue his presidential campaign as a candidate for the nomination of the Libertarian Party. He won the Libertarian Party nomination on May 5, 2012. His chosen running mate Judge James P. Gray of California won the vice-presidential nomination. The Johnson/Gray ticket received 0.99% of the popular vote, amounting to 1.27 million votes, more than all other minor candidates combined. This was the most successful result for a third party presidential candidacy since 2000. It was the best showing in the Libertarian Party's history by vote count.
- 1 Early life and career
- 2 Governor of New Mexico
- 3 2012 presidential campaign
- 4 Post-2012 elections
- 5 Potential 2016 presidential candidacy
- 6 Political positions
- 7 Personal life
- 8 Electoral history
- 9 Books
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
Early life and career
Johnson was born on January 1, 1953, in Minot, North Dakota, the son of Lorraine B. (née Bostow), who worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Earl W. Johnson, a public school teacher. His father was of half Danish and half Norwegian ancestry, and his mother was of Russian descent. Johnson graduated from Sandia High School in Albuquerque in 1971, where he was on the school track team. He attended the University of New Mexico from 1971 to 1975 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in political science. While at UNM, he joined the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. It was there that he met his future wife, Denise "Dee" Simms. While in college, Johnson earned money as a door-to-door handyman. His success in that industry encouraged him to start his own business, Big J Enterprises, in 1976. When he started the business, which focused on mechanical contracting, Johnson was its only employee. His major break with the firm was receiving a large contract from Intel's expansion in Rio Rancho, which increased Big J's revenue to $38 million. Over-burdened by his success, Johnson enrolled in a time management course at night school, which he credits with making him heavily goal-driven. He eventually grew Big J into a multimillion-dollar corporation with over 1,000 employees. By the time he sold the company in 1999, it was one of New Mexico's leading construction companies.
Governor of New Mexico
Johnson entered politics in 1994, with the intention of running for governor and was advised by "Republican Elders" to run for the State Legislature instead. Despite their advice, Johnson spent $500,000 of his own money and entered the race with the intent of bringing a "common sense business approach" to the office. Johnson's campaign slogan was "People before Politics". His platform emphasized tax cuts, job creation, state government spending growth restraint, and law and order. He won the Republican nomination, defeating state legislator Richard P. Cheney by 34% to 33%, with John Dendahl and former governor David F. Cargo in third and fourth. Johnson subsequently won the general election, defeating the incumbent Democratic Governor Bruce King by 50% to 40%. Johnson was elected in a nationally Republican year, although party registration in the state of New Mexico at the time was 2-to-1 Democratic.
As governor, Johnson followed a strict small government approach. According to former New Mexico Republican National Committee member Mickey D. Barnett, "Any time someone approached him about legislation for some purpose, his first response always was to ask if government should be involved in that to begin with." He vetoed 200 of 424 bills in his first six months in office—a national record of 47% of all legislation—and used the line-item veto on most remaining bills. In office, Johnson fulfilled his campaign promise to reduce the 10% annual growth of the state budget. In his first budget, Johnson proposed a wide range of tax cuts, including a repeal of the prescription drug tax, a $47 million income tax cut, and a 6 cents per gallon gasoline tax cut. However, of these, only the gasoline tax cut was passed. During the November 1995 federal government shutdown, he joined 20 other Republican governors who called on the Republican leadership in Congress to stand firm in negotiations against the Clinton administration in budget negotiations; in the article reporting on the letter and concomitant news conference he was quoted as calling for eliminating the budget deficit through proportional cuts across the budget. Although Johnson worked to reduce overall state spending, in his first term, he raised education spending by nearly a third. When drop-out rates and test scores showed little improvement, Johnson changed his tactics and began advocating for school vouchers—a key issue in budget battles of his second term as governor.
In 1998, Johnson ran for re-election as governor against Democratic Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez. In his campaign, Johnson promised to continue the policies of his first term: improving schools; cutting state spending, taxes, and bureaucracy; and frequent use of his veto and line-item veto power. Fielding a strong Hispanic candidate in a 40% Hispanic state, the Democrats were expected to oust Johnson, but Johnson won by a 55%-to-45% margin: making him the first Governor of New Mexico to serve two successive four-year terms after term limits were expanded to two terms in 1991. Johnson made the promotion of a school voucher system a "hallmark issue" of his second term. In 1999, he proposed the first statewide voucher system in America, which would have enrolled 100,000 students in its first year. That year, he vetoed two budgets that failed to include a voucher program and a government shutdown was threatened, but ultimately yielded to Democratic majorities in both houses of the New Mexico Legislature, who opposed the plan. Johnson signed the budget, but line-item vetoed a further $21m, or 0.5%, from the legislative plan. In 1999, Johnson became one of the highest-ranking elected officials in the US to advocate the legalization of marijuana. Saying the War on Drugs was "an expensive bust", he advocated the decriminalization of marijuana use and concentration on harm-reduction measures for all other illegal drugs. "He compared attempts to enforce the nation's drug laws with the failed attempt at alcohol prohibition. Half of what government spends on police, courts and prisons is to deal with drug offenders." He suggested that drug abuse be treated as a health issue, not as a criminal issue. His approach to the issue garnered supportive notice from conservative icon William F. Buckley, as well as the Cato Institute and Rolling Stone.
In 2000, Johnson proposed a more ambitious voucher program than he had proposed the year before, under which each parent would receive $3,500 per child for education at any private or parochial school. The Democrats sought $90m extra school funding without school vouchers, and questioned Johnson's request for more funding for state-run prisons, having opposed his opening of two private prisons. Negotiations between the governor and the legislature were contentious, again nearly leading to a government shutdown. In 2000, New Mexico was devastated by the Cerro Grande Fire. Johnson's handling of the disaster earned him accolades from The Denver Post, which observed that:
Johnson.....was all over the Cerro Grande Fire last week. He helped reporters understand where the fire was headed when low-level Forest Service officials couldn't, ran herd over the bureaucratic process of getting state and federal agencies and the National Guard involved, and even helped put out some of the fire with his feet. On a tour of Los Alamos last Wednesday, when he saw small flames spreading across a lawn, he had his driver stop his car. He jumped out and stomped on the flames, as did his wife and some of his staffers.
Johnson's leadership during the fire was praised by Democratic Congressman Tom Udall, who said: "I think the real test of leadership is when you have circumstances like this. He's called on his reserves of energy and has just been a really excellent leader under very difficult circumstances here." Johnson rebuffed efforts by the Libertarian Party to draft him in the 2000 presidential election, stating himself to be a Republican with no interest in running for president.
Commentator Andrew Sullivan quoted a claim that Johnson "is highly regarded in the state for his outstanding leadership during two terms as governor. He slashed the size of state government during his term and left the state with a large budget surplus." In an interview in Reason magazine in January 2001, Johnson's accomplishments in office were described as follows: "no tax increases in six years, a major road building program, shifting Medicaid to managed care, constructing two new private prisons, canning 1,200 state employees, and vetoing a record number of bills". According to one New Mexico paper, "Johnson left the state fiscally solid", and was "arguably the most popular governor of the decade… leaving the state with a $1 billion budget surplus." The Washington Times reported that when Johnson left office, "the size of state government had been substantially reduced and New Mexico was enjoying a large budget surplus."
According to a profile of Johnson in the National Review, "During his tenure, he vetoed more bills than the other 49 governors combined—750 in total, one third of which had been introduced by Republican legislators. Johnson also used his line-item-veto power thousands of times. He credits his heavy veto pen for eliminating New Mexico's budget deficit and cutting the growth rate of New Mexico's government in half." According to the Myrtle Beach Sun, Johnson "said his numerous vetoes, only two of which were overridden, stemmed from his philosophy of looking at all things for their cost–benefit ratio and his axe fell on Republicans as well as Democrats".
While in office, Johnson was criticized for opposing funding for an independent study of private prisons after a series of riots and killings at the facilities. Martin Chavez, his opponent in the 1998 New Mexico gubernatorial race, criticized Johnson for his frequent vetoing of programs, suggesting that it resulted in New Mexico's low economic and social standing nationally. Journalist Mark Ames described Johnson as "a hard-core conservative" who "ruled the state like a right-wing authoritarian" and only embraced marijuana legalization in his second term for populist gain. This was mainly in reference to a commercial from Johnson's reelection campaign, featuring Johnson saying that a felon in New Mexico would serve "every lousy second" of their prison sentence. Johnson insisted however that the commercial was directed at "the guy who's got his gun out" rather than non-violent drug offenders.
Johnson was term limited and could not run for a third consecutive term as governor in 2002. In the 2008 presidential election campaign, Johnson endorsed Ron Paul for the Republican nomination, "because of his commitment to less government, greater liberty, and lasting prosperity for America." Johnson spoke at Paul's "Rally for the Republic" on September 2, 2008.
As of April 2011[update], he serves on the board of directors of Students For Liberty, a nonprofit libertarian organization. His first book, Seven Principles of Good Government, was published on August 1, 2012.
2012 presidential campaign
In the 2012 United States presidential election, Johnson received 0.99% of the popular vote, a total of 1,275,971 votes. This was the best result in the Libertarian Party's history by raw vote number, though under the 1.1 percentage of the vote won by Ed Clark in 1980.
In 2009, Johnson began indicating interest in running for president in the 2012 election. In the April 20, 2009 edition of The American Conservative Magazine, Bill Kauffman told readers to "keep an eye out" for a Johnson presidential campaign in 2012, reporting that Johnson had told him that "he was keeping his options open for 2012" and that "he may take a shot at the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 as an antiwar, anti-Fed, pro-personal liberties, slash-government-spending candidate—in other words, a Ron Paul libertarian". During a June 24, 2009 appearance on Fox News's Freedom Watch, host Judge Andrew Napolitano asked Johnson if he would run for president in 2012, to which Johnson responded that he thought it would be inappropriate to openly express his desires before President Obama is given the opportunity to prove himself, but he followed up that statement by saying "it appears personal freedoms are being shoveled out the window more and more."
In an October 26, 2009 interview with the Santa Fe New Mexican's Steve Terrell, Johnson announced his decision to form an advocacy committee called the Our America Initiative to help him raise funds and promote small government ideas. In December 2009, Johnson asked strategist Ron Nielson of NSON Opinion Strategy, who has worked with Johnson since 1993 when he ran his successful gubernatorial campaign, to organize the Our American Initiative as a 501(c)(4) committee. Nielson serves as a senior advisor to Our America Initiative. The stated focus of the organization is to "speak out on issues regarding topics such as government efficiency, lowering taxes, ending the war on drugs, protecting civil liberties, revitalizing the economy and promoting entrepreneurship and privatization". The move prompted speculation among media pundits and Johnson's supporters that he might be laying the groundwork for a 2012 presidential run. Throughout 2010, Johnson repeatedly deflected questions about a 2012 presidential bid by saying his 501(c)(4) status prevented him from expressing a desire to run for federal office on politics. However, he was outspoken about the issues affecting the country, particularly "the size and cost of government" and the "deficits and debt that truly threaten to consume the U.S. economy, and which represent the single greatest threat to our national security."
In February 2011, Johnson was a featured speaker at both the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and the Republican Liberty Caucus. At CPAC, "the crowd liked him—even as he pushed some of his more controversial points." Johnson tied with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for third in the CPAC Straw Poll, trailing only Ron Paul and Mitt Romney (and ahead of such notables as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and former Alaska Governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin). David Weigel of Slate called Johnson the second-biggest winner of the conference, writing that his "third-place showing in the straw poll gave Johnson his first real media hook … He met tons of reporters, commanded a small scrum after the vote, and is a slightly lighter shade of dark horse now."
Republican presidential candidacy
On April 21, 2011 Johnson announced via Twitter, "I am running for president." He followed this announcement with a speech at the New Hampshire State House in Concord, New Hampshire. He was the first of an eventually large field to announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. Johnson again chose Ron Nielson of NSON Opinion Strategy a director for both of his New Mexico gubernatorial campaigns, as his presidential campaign manager and senior advisor. The campaign was headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah where Nielson's offices are located. Johnson's economics advisor was Harvard economics professor Jeffrey Miron. Initially, Johnson hoped Ron Paul would not run for president so that Johnson could galvanize Paul's network of libertarian-minded voters, and he even traveled to Houston to tell Paul of his decision to run in person, but Paul announced his candidacy on May 13, 2011.
Johnson participated in the first of the Republican presidential debates, hosted by Fox News in South Carolina on May 5, 2011, appearing on stage with Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann both declined to debate. Johnson was excluded from the next three debates on June 13 (hosted by CNN in New Hampshire), August 11 (hosted by Fox News in Iowa), and September 7 (hosted by CNN in California). After the first exclusion, Johnson made a 43-minute video responding to each of the debate questions, which he posted on YouTube. The first exclusion, which was widely publicized, gave Johnson "a little bump" in name recognition and produced "a small uptick" in donations. But "the long term consequences were dismal." For the financial quarter ending June 30, Johnson raised a mere $180,000. Fox News decided that because Johnson polled at least 2% in five recent polls, he could participate in a September 22 debate in Florida, which it co-hosted with the Florida Republican Party (the party objected to Johnson's inclusion). Johnson participated, appearing on stage with Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum. During the debate, Johnson delivered what many media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, and Time, called the best line of the night: "My next-door neighbor's two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than this administration." Entertainment Weekly opined that Johnson had won the debate.
Libertarian presidential nomination and campaign
Although Johnson had focused the majority of his campaign activities on the New Hampshire primary, he announced on November 29, 2011 that he would no longer campaign there due to his inability to gain traction with less than a month until the primary. There was speculation in the media that he might run as a Libertarian Party candidate instead. Johnson acknowledged that he was considering such a move. In December, Politico reported that Johnson would quit the Republican primaries and announce his intention to seek the Libertarian Party nomination at a December 28 press conference. He also encouraged his supporters to vote for Ron Paul in 2012 Republican presidential primaries.
On December 28, 2011, Johnson formally withdrew his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, and declared his candidacy for the 2012 presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party in Santa Fe, New Mexico. On May 5, 2012, at the 2012 Libertarian National Convention, Johnson received the Libertarian Party's official nomination for president in the 2012 election, by a vote of 419 votes to 152 votes for second-place candidate R. Lee Wrights. In his acceptance speech, Johnson asked the convention's delegates to nominate as his running mate Judge Jim Gray of California. Gray subsequently received the party's vice-presidential nomination on the first ballot.
Johnson spent the early months of his campaign making media appearances on television programs such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld. Starting in September 2012, Johnson embarked on a three-week tour of college campuses throughout the US. On October 23, 2012, Gary Johnson participated in a third party debate that was aired on C-SPAN, RT America, and Al Jazeera English. A post-debate online election allowed people to choose two candidates from the debate they thought had won to face each other head to head in a run-off debate. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein won the poll. They debated in Washington, D.C., on November 5, 2012.
Johnson stated that his goal was to win at least 5 percent of the vote, as winning 5 percent would allow Libertarian Party candidates equal ballot access and federal funding during the next election cycle. In a national Gallup poll of likely registered voters conducted June 7 through June 10, 2012, Johnson took 3% of the vote, while a Gallup poll conducted September 6 through September 9, 2012, showed Johnson taking 1% of likely voters. A Zogby poll released July 13, 2012, revealed Johnson took 5.3% of likely voters, while a Zogby poll released September 23, 2012, showed Johnson taking 2% of likely voters. The final results showed Johnson polling nearly 1.3 million votes and 1.0% of the popular vote. This established a Libertarian Party record for total votes won in a presidential election and the second-highest Libertarian percentage ever, behind Ed Clark's 1.1% in 1980. Despite falling short of his stated goal of 5%, Johnson stated, "Ours is a mission accomplished". In regards to a future presidential bid, he said "it is too soon to be talking about 2016".
Since the 2012 elections, Johnson has continued to criticize the Obama administration on various issues. In an article for The Guardian, Johnson called on United States Attorney General Eric Holder to let individual states legalize marijuana. In a Google Hangout hosted by Johnson in June 2013, he criticized the US government's lack of transparency and due process in regards to the NSA's domestic surveillance programs. He also said that he would not discount running as a Republican again in the future.
Our America PAC
In December 2013, Johnson announced the founding of his own Super PAC, Our America PAC. The Super PAC is intended to support libertarian-minded causes. “From the realities of government-run healthcare setting in to the continuing disclosures of the breadth of NSA’s domestic spying, more Americans than ever are ready to take a serious look at candidates who offer real alternatives to business-as-usual,” the release announcing the PAC said.
CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc.
In July 2014 Johnson was named president and CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc., a Nevada-based company that aims primarily to sell medical cannabis products in states where medicinal and/or recreational cannabis is legal.
Potential 2016 presidential candidacy
In an April 2014 Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session, Johnson stated that he hopes to run for president again in 2016. On whether he would run as a Libertarian or a Republican, he stated that "I would love running as a Libertarian because I would have the least amount of explaining to do."
In November 2014, Johnson affirmed his intention to run for the 2016 Libertarian nomination. As of July 2015, Johnson confirmed his intentions for a presidential campaign but stated he was not announcing anything imminently: "I just think there are more downsides than upsides to announcing at this point, and, look, I don’t have any delusions about the process. In retrospect, 90 percent of the time I spent [trying to become president] ended up to be wasted time."
Johnson's views have been described as fiscally conservative and socially liberal with a philosophy of limited government and military non-interventionism. He has identified as a classical liberal. Johnson has said he favors simplifying and reducing taxes. During his governorship, Johnson cut taxes fourteen times and never increased them. Due to his stance on taxes, political pundit David Weigel described him as "the original Tea Party candidate." Johnson has advocated for the FairTax, a proposal which would abolish all federal income, corporate and capital gains taxes, and replace them with a 23% tax on consumption of all non-essential goods, while providing a regressive rebate to households according to income level. He has argued that this would assure transparency in the tax system and incentivize the private sector to create "tens of millions of jobs."
Johnson has said that he supports balancing the federal budget immediately. He has stated he supports "slashing government spending", including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, which would involve cutting Medicare and Medicaid by 43 percent and turning them into block grant programs, with control of spending in the hands of the states to create, in his words, "fifty laboratories of innovation." He has advocated passing a law allowing for state bankruptcy and expressly ruling out a federal bailout of any states. Johnson has expressed opposition to the Federal Reserve System, which he has cited as massively devaluing the strength of the U.S. dollar, and would sign legislation to eliminate it. He has also supported an audit of the central bank, and urged Members of Congress in July 2012 to vote in favor of Ron Paul's Federal Reserve Transparency Act.
In his campaign for the Libertarian Party nomination, he stated he opposed foreign wars and pledged to cut the military budget by 43 percent in his first term as president. He would cut the military's overseas bases, uniformed and civilian personnel, research and development, intelligence, and nuclear weapons programs. He has stated his opposition to US involvement in the War in Afghanistan and opposed the US involvement in the Libyan Civil War. He has stated that he does not believe Iran is a military threat, would use his presidential power to prevent Israel from attacking Iran, and would not follow Israel, or any other ally, into a war that it had initiated.
Johnson is a strong supporter of civil liberties and received the highest score of any candidate from the American Civil Liberties Union for supporting drug decriminalization and having a pro-choice stance on abortion, while opposing censorship and regulation of the Internet, the Patriot Act, enhanced airport screenings, and the indefinite detention of prisoners. He has spoken in favor of the separation of church and state, and has said that he does not "seek the counsel of God" when determining his political agenda. Johnson endorsed same-sex marriage in 2011; he has since called for a constitutional amendment protecting equal marriage rights, and criticized Obama's position on the issue as having "thrown this question back to the states." Johnson has been a longtime advocate of legalizing marijuana and has said that if he were president, he would remove it from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act as well as issue an executive order pardoning non-violent marijuana offenders. Johnson has stated his opposition to gun control and has said, "I'm a firm believer in the Second Amendment and so I would not have signed legislation banning assault weapons or automatic weapons."
Johnson was married to Dee Johnson (née Simms; 1952–2006) from 1977 to 2005. As First Lady of New Mexico, she engaged in campaigns against smoking and breast cancer, and oversaw the enlargement of the Governor's Mansion. He initiated a separation in May 2005 and four months later he announced that they would divorce. Dee Johnson died unexpectedly on December 22, 2006, at the age of 54. It was established in February 2007 that her death was caused by hypertensive heart disease. Syndicated columnist John Dendahl expressed shock upon her death, as she had been "very vivacious" only two weeks previously. After her death, Johnson said, "People couldn't have gotten a better number one volunteer, because that's what she was. Whatever [the issue] was, she had a caring approach." Johnson and his late wife have two grown children: a daughter, Seah (born 1979), and a son, Erik (born 1982).
As of November 9, 2012, Johnson is engaged to Santa Fe real estate agent Kate Prusack, whom he began dating in 2008 after meeting on a bike ride. Johnson proposed in 2009 on the chair lift at Taos Ski Valley Resort in New Mexico. He lives in Taos, New Mexico, in a home that he built himself.
Johnson is an avid triathlete who bikes extensively and abstains from all recreational drug use, caffeine, alcohol, and some sugar products. During his term in office, he competed in several triathlons, marathons and bike races. He competed three times (1993, 1997, 1999) as a celebrity invitee at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, registering his best time for the 2.4-mile (3.9 km) swim, 112-mile (180 km) bike ride, and 26.2-mile (42.2 km) marathon run in 1999 with 10 hours, 39 minutes, and 16 seconds. He once ran 100 miles (160 km) in 30 consecutive hours in the Rocky Mountains. On May 30, 2003, he reached the summit of Mount Everest "despite toes blackened with frostbite." He has climbed all seven of the Seven Summits: Mount Everest, Mount Elbrus, Denali, Mount Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Mount Vinson, and Carstensz Pyramid—the tallest peaks in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa, South America, Antarctica, and Oceania respectively. He completed the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, in which participants traverse a 26.2 mile course through the desert, many of them in combat boots and wearing 35-pound packs. On October 12, 2005, Johnson was involved in a near-fatal paragliding accident when his wing caught in a tree and he fell approximately 50 feet to the ground. Johnson suffered multiple bone fractures, including a burst fracture to his twelfth thoracic vertebra, a broken rib, and a broken knee; this accident left him 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) shorter. He used medicinal marijuana for pain control from 2005 to 2008.
Johnson is a Lutheran and stated that his belief in God has given him "a very fundamental belief that we should do unto others as we would have others do unto us."
Johnson's first granddaughter, Cora Denise Johnson, was born to his son Erik on July 8, 2015.
|New Mexico gubernatorial election, 1994|
|Democratic||Bruce King (inc.)||186,686||39.92%||-14.68%|
|Republican gain from Democratic||Swing|
|New Mexico gubernatorial election, 1998|
|Republican||Gary Johnson (inc.)||271,948||54.53%||+4.72%|
|United States presidential election, 2012
Election on November 6, 2012
|Democratic||Barack Obama (inc.)||65,899,583||51.03%||-1.84%|
- Seven Principles of Good Government: Gary Johnson on liberty, people and politics. 2012. Aberdeen, WA: Silver Lake Publishing. ISBN 978-1563439131. OCLC 809701081
- Pratt, Timothy (May 5, 2012). "Libertarians nominate ex-Governor Gary Johnson for president". Reuters. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
- Gillespie, Nick (November 4, 2014). "Gary Johnson: "I'll Run in 2016 to Provide Libertarian Option" That Rand Paul Doesn't Offer". Reason.com. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
- Eichstaedt, Peter (July 1, 1995). "No, no, two hundred times no". State Legislatures.
- "Gary Johnson on the Issues". The Santa Fe New Mexican. May 30, 1994. p. A4.
- "2012 Republican Hopeful Gary Johnson Takes On His Party's 'Cardboard Cutouts'". ABC News. February 9, 2010. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
- Stanage, Niall (May 5, 2010). "The most interesting Republican you've never heard of". Salon.
- Feldmann, Linda (April 21, 2011). "Gary Johnson declares for president: Is he the next Ron Paul?". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- "Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson Endorses Ron Paul". Reuters. January 21, 2008. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
- Clowes, George A. (October 1, 2000). "Better Education Does Make All the Difference: Governor Gary E. Johnson". School Reform News. The Heartland Institute. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
- "America's boldest governor". The Economist. April 15, 1999.
- Hughes, Jim (15 May 2000). "Monday Profile: N.M. Gov. Gary Johnson". The Denver Post. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "Former governor scales Mount Everest". Lawrence Journal-World Online Edition (Lawrence, Kansas). Associated Press. June 8, 2003. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- Marr, Kendra (April 21, 2011). "Gary Johnson makes 2012 presidential run official". Politico. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- Stewart, Rebecca (December 28, 2011). "'Liberated' Gary Johnson seeks Libertarian nomination". CNN. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
- Tuccile, J.D. (November 7, 2012). "Gary Johnson Pulls One Million Votes, One Percent". Reason. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- Who's Who in the West 1996–1997. Marquis Who's Who. 1995. p. 421. ISBN 0-8379-0926-0.
- politicks Org. "Declared 2012 Libertarian Presidential Candidate Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson". 2012.republican-candidates.org. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- Miller, Matthew (August 20, 2000). "He Just Said No to the Drug War". The New York Times.
- Good, Chris (May 26, 2011). "From the Yearbook to the White House: The 2012 Republicans in High School". The Atlantic.
- "Candidate: Gary Johnson". USA Today. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
- "Candidate Profile from Congressional Quarterly". CNN. Retrieved July 19, 2009.
- Marciello, Alex. "Former NM governor talks politics". The Daily News of Newburyport. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
- Jones, Steve (February 1, 2011). "Myrtle Beach Tea Party hears from presidential hopeful". Myrtle Beach Sun.
- "Governor Johnson says what's on his mind". New Mexico Business Journal 19 (1). January–February 1995. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- "Governor Shane Niksik". Forbes. May 8, 2011. Archived from the original on June 19, 2009. Retrieved June 19, 2009.
- Lynch, Michael W. (January 2001). "America's Most Dangerous Politician – Republican Governor of New Mexico Gary E. Johnson". Reason. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
- Massey, Barry (November 26, 1995). "Governor sets a fast pace in New Mexico Marathons, vetoes keep him moving". The Denver Post.
- "Gary Johnson Offers Third Choice In 2012 Elections". NPR. June 21, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- Hollow, Ralph Z. (February 6, 2011). "Maverick N.M. politician always on trail". The Washington Times. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- Moore, Stephen; Stansel, Dean (July 26, 1996). "A Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors:1996". Cato Institute. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- Tollerson, Ernest (November 20, 1995). "Governors In G.O.P. Urge Stand On Budget". The New York Times.
- Ayres, B. Drummond, Jr. (October 23, 1998). "Democrats Renew Push in New Mexico". The New York Times.
- "CNN election results 1998". CNN. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- Janofsky, Michael (January 31, 2000). "Parents Lead Way as States Debate School Vouchers". The New York Times.
- Janofsky, Michael (May 14, 1999). "$21 Million Vetoed in Budget". Albuquerque Journal. (subscription required)
- Janofsky, Michael (September 16, 2000). "Antidrug Program's End Stirs Up Salt Lake City". The New York Times.
- Buckley, William F. (June 29, 2004). "Free Weeds: The marijuana debate". National Review. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- Lieberman, Jon (March 14, 2000). "Political Brawl Leaves New Mexico Without Budget". Pew Charitable Trusts. Archived from the original on November 27, 2008. Retrieved May 8, 2011.
- Janofsky, Michael (October 7, 1999). "New Mexico Governor Resists Draft Efforts by Libertarians". The New York Times.
- Sullivan, Andrew (January 19, 2011). "The Tea Party On Prohibition: Lovin' It". The Atlantic. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- Gardner, Jeffry (January 6, 2011). "More than 10 years have past since the feared 2000 disaster". Los Alamos Monitor.
- Bolduc, Brian (January 3, 2011). "2012: Year of the Libertarian?". National Review.
- Massey, Barry (September 3, 1999). "Johnson opposes independent study of private prisons". Associated Press. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- Ayres, Jr., B. Drummond (October 23, 1998). "Democrats Renew Push in New Mexico". The New York Times. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
- Ames, Mark (November 6, 2012). "The Gary Johnson Swindle and the Degradation of Third Party Politics". nsfwcorp.com. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
- "Constitutional and statutory provisions for number of consecutive terms of elected state officials" (PDF). National Governors Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 29, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2008.
- George Dance (January 11, 2010). "Gary Johnson and Our America". Nolan Chart. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
- Keck, Kristi (September 3, 2008). "Thousands rally at Ron Paul convention". CNN. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
- "Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Advisory Council". 2010. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
- "Leadership". Students For Liberty. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- Seven Principles of Good Government: Gary Johnson on Politics, People and Freedom: Insights from the 2012 Libertarian Party Nominee for P. Google. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Election Results for the U.S. President, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, Federal Election Commission, July 2013.
- "Libertarian Party buoyant; Greens hopeful". United Press International. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
- Bill Kauffman (April 21, 2009). "The Republic Strikes Back". The American Conservative. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- 24 Hour Newsroom (October 27, 2009). "Ex-Gov Mulls Presidential Bid". 770 KKOB AM. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
- Pt 5/6 Freedom Watch Napolitano Ron Paul Lew Rockwell Gary Johnson David Boaz & more 6-24-09. YouTube. June 24, 2009. Event occurs at 1:58. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
- Johnson, Gary. "OUR America Initiative". Our America Initiative. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
- Steve Terrell (October 26, 2009). "Group wants Johnson on presidential ballot". Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
- Gadi Schwartz (November 5, 2009). "Supporters call for former Gov. Johnson to run for president". KOB News 4. Archived from the original on January 9, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
- Hannity, Sean (May 10, 2010). "Controversial Republican Eyeing White House?". Fox News Channel. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
- Wallsten, Peter (August 9, 2010). "Washington Wire Q & A: Gary Johnson". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
- Johnson, Gary (January 18, 2011). "$100 billion in spending cuts this year? How about this week!". The Daily Caller.
- Carey, Amanda (February 8, 2011). "Potential 2012 presidential candidate Gary Johnson to speak at CPAC". The Daily Caller.
- Good, Chris (February 11, 2011). "Is Gary Johnson the Next Ron Paul?". The Atlantic.
- Falcone, Michael (February 12, 2011). "Ron Paul Wins 2011 CPAC Straw Poll, Sarah Palin Finishes a Distant 9th Place". ABC News.
- Weigel, David (February 14, 2011). "Who Won CPAC?". Slate.
- Kapur, Sahil (April 21, 2011). "Pro-pot, anti-war Republican Gary Johnson running for president". The Raw Story. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- Lisa Depaulo (November 2011). "Is This the Sanest Man Running for President?". GQ. Condé Nast.
- "Johnson Key Staff and Advisers". Politico LLC. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- Conor Friesdorf (June 15, 2011). "Gary Johnson Crashes the N.H. Republican Debate". The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group.
- Michael Muskal (September 23, 2011). "Gary Johnson cleaning up with his dog poop quip". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Newspapers.
- Michael Scherer (September 23, 2011). "What You Missed While Not Watching the Fox News/Google Debate". Time.
- Jeff Labrecque (September 23, 2011). "Gary Johnson and neighbor's two dogs win Republican presidential debate". Entertainment Weekly.
- Fortier, Mark (November 29, 2011). "Gary Johnson Throws in the Towel in NH". Portsmouth Patch. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- Moran, Andrew (November 29, 2011). "Gov. Gary Johnson may run for U.S. President as a Libertarian". Digital Journal. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
- Friedersdorf, Conor (November 30, 2011). "Will Gary Johnson Seek the Libertarian Party's Nomination?". The Atlantic. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
- "Interview with Gary Johnson". Liberty Underground / 1787 Network. December 2, 2011.
- Epstein, Reid J. (December 20, 2011). "Johnson to run as Libertarian". Politico.
- Steve Nelson; Will Rahn. "Gary Johnson encourages supporters to vote for Ron Paul in GOP primaries". The Daily Caller. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
- Winger, Richard (May 5, 2012). "Gary Johnson Nominated by Libertarian Party on First Ballot". Ballot Access News. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
- Moxley, R. Scott (May 5, 2012). "Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson: Give Me Orange County's Jim Gray as VP". OC Weekly. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
- Puditty (Jun 5, 2012). "Gary Johnson visits 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart'". Allvoices.com. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Crugnale, James (June 6, 2012). "Penn Jillette & Gary Johnson Lament NY’s Marijuana Decriminalization Doesn’t Go Far Enough". Mediaite. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Walsh, Kenneth (September 11, 2012). "Gary Johnson Could Spoil Romney's Chances". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Rose, Joel (September 26, 2012). "Libertarian Candidate Could Be Election Spoiler". NPR. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- "Presidential Hopefuls Meet in Third Party Debate". PBS NewsHour. October 25, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
- Derek Rosenfeld (October 25, 2012). "Larry King Hosts Third Party Debate: Presidential Candidates Slam the Drug War". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- Josh Hicks (October 26, 2012). "Gary Johnson and Jill Stein will debate one-on-one". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- Jack Kenny (November 5, 2012). "Johnson, Stein in Election Eve Debate". Mashable. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
- Karoun Demirjian (October 5, 2012). "Libertarian candidate makes push for Nevada’s Ron Paul supporters". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- Lucas Eaves (November 1, 2012). "Why 5% matters to Gary Johnson". Independent Voter Network. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
- Jones, Jeffrey (July 6, 2012). "Little Support for Third-Party Candidates in 2012 Election". Gallup. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
- Newport, Frank (September 12, 2012). "Gary Johnson scores at 5.3% nationally against Obama and Romney". Watchdog.org. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
- Nikolewski, Rob (July 14, 2012). "Gary Johnson scores at 5.3% nationally against Obama and Romney". Watchdog.org. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
- Newport, Frank (September 23, 2012). "A New Zogby Poll Romney Loses Ground, Now Down By 8 Points; Wrong Track Voters At 52%". JZ Analytics. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
- "US President – Popular Vote". Our Campaigns.
- Dave Leip. "2012 Presidential General Election Results". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
- Blake, Aaron; Sullivan, Sean (November 20, 2012). "The GOP’s growing Libertarian problem". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Weber, Joseph (November 7, 2012). "Johnson satisfied with presidential run, mum on future bid for office". Fox News Channel. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- Johnson, Gary (March 9, 2013). "Let states legalise marijuana, Eric Holder: you know it makes sense". The Guardian. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
- Evans, Zenon (June 12, 2013). "Gary Johnson Weighs in on NSA, Says He's Open to Running As a Republican Again". Reason. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
- Reichbach, Matthew (December 11, 2013). "Gary Johnson launches Super PAC". New Mexico Telegram. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
- Goldsmith, Alex (July 1, 2014). "Gary Johnson to head marijuana company". KRQE.com. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
- Roller, Emma (July 2, 2014). "Gary Johnson Is Now CEO of a Marijuana Company. And He Wants to Run for President.". National Journal. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
- Roller, Emma (April 23, 2014). "Remember Gary Johnson? He Wants to Run for President Again.". National Journal. Archived from the original on April 24, 2014.
- Gary Johnson on Trump, the Presidential Election, and Life as a Pot Company CEO
- Haq, Husna (April 21, 2011). "Election 101: Who is Gary Johnson?". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Bolduc, Brian (January 3, 2011). "2012: Year of the Libertarian?". National Review. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- "Don’t Forget Gary Johnson! How the Libertarian Could Shake Up 2012". The Daily Beast. May 6, 2012.
- Brian Doherty (April 11, 2012). "Gary Johnson's Foreign Policy: Libertarian or "Strange"?". Reason.
- Toole, John (September 25, 2011). "Johnson campaign tests GOP support for 'classical liberal'". The Eagle-Tribune. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
- Glover, Mike (September 8, 2010). "Former NM gov is little known but has big ideas". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Quigley, Bernie (February 10, 2011). "Prelude to a nervous breakdown; New Mexico's Gary Johnson rises". The Hill. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Weigel, David (September 8, 2010). "America's Next Top Libertarian". Slate. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Quinn, Garrett (August 22, 2012). "Fair Tax Gives Gary Johnson Some Hiccups On The Trail". Reason. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
- Klein, Rick (April 22, 2011). "Gary Johnson: 'From Obscurity to Prominence' in New Hampshire". ABC News. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- "Gov. Gary Johnson Sends Letter To House Of Representatives". garyjohnson2012.com. July 23, 2012. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- Interview with Gov. Gary Johnson, LP presidential candidate, on Foreign Policy. YouTube. April 2011. Event occurs at 6:00.
- John Vaught LaBeaume (September 1, 2011). "Gov. Gary: Cut defense, quit subsidizing Eurocare". Washington Examiner.
- Friedersdorf, Conor (April 22, 2011). "The Zen of Gary Johnson". The Atlantic. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Interview with Gov. Gary Johnson, LP presidential candidate, on Foreign Policy. YouTube. April 2011. Event occurs at 4:30.
- "Gary Johnson Braves the ACLU; The Libertarian presidential candidate charms a gathering of civil libertarians". Reason. January 31, 2012.
- Landsberg, Mitchell (October 17, 2012). "Atheist group gives Obama an unenthusiastic nod over Romney". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- Riggs, Mike (May 10, 2012). "Gary Johnson on Obama's Gay Marriage Remarks: "I guess the President is still more worried about losing Ohio, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia than he is in doing the right thing"". Reason. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Scarboro, Aaron. "Why America Needs Gary Johnson". The Guardian Express. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
- Riggs, Mike. "Gary Johnson on "Defanging" the DEA, Pardoning Marijuana Offenders, and Standing With Occupy Wall Street". Reason. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
- Downs, Ray (November 6, 2012). "Presidential candidate Gary Johnson talks guns, for-profit prisons". WAFB. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
- Haq, Husna. "Election 101: Who is Gary Johnson?". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
- Olson, Sean (December 24, 2006). "Ex-N.M. First Lady Dies; Dee Johnson Fought for Women's and Children's Issues". Abqjournal.com. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- Linthicum, Leslie (September 29, 2005). "Ex-Gov. Johnson, Wife Are Divorcing". Albuquerque Journal. (subscription required)
- Olson, Sean (December 24, 2006). "Ex-N.M. First Lady Dies; Dee Johnson Fought for Women's and Children's Issues". Albuquerque Journal. (subscription required)
- Linthicum, Leslie (February 10, 2007). "Former First Lady Died of Heart Disease". Albuquerque Journal.(subscription required)
- Daniels, Bruce (December 26, 2006). "6:20am – Flags at Half-Staff for Dee Johnson". Albuquerque Journal.
- Nikolewski, Rob (November 9, 2012). "Gary Johnson contemplates bowing out of politics". Watchdog.org. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Pappas, Alex (May 23, 2011). "Meet Kate Prusack, Gary Johnson's fiancé". The Daily Caller. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
- Klein, Rick; Simmons, Gregory (February 10, 2011). "You Say You Want a Revolution?". ABC News. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
- Linthicum, Leslie (January 3, 2010). "You Say You Want a Revolution?". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
- Mallozzi, Vincent M. (October 12, 1997). "Famous Just Doesn't Make It". The New York Times.
- "New Mexico Governor to Compete in Ironman Utah". World Triathlon Corporation. June 3, 2002.
- "Gary Johnson summits Mount Vinson". Independent Political Report. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- Corjulo, Michael (August 9, 2011). "GOP Presidential Hopefuls Go To Ames, Gary Johnson Rides a Bike". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- Navrot, Miguel (October 24, 2005). "Ex-Governor Johnson Injured While Paragliding". Albuquerque Journal. (subscription required)
- Toole, John (September 9, 2011). "Johnson campaign tests GOP support for 'classical liberal'". eagletribune.com. The Eagle-Tribune. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- Moody, Chris (2011-09-21). "Unorthodox GOP candidate Gary Johnson gets his chance in Orlando debate". Yahoo! News. Yahoo!. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
- McCormack, John (December 6, 2010). "Gov. Gary Johnson: I Smoked Marijuana from 2005 to 2008". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- "Gary Johnson Candidate Profile". Reason. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- "Canvass of Returns of General Election Held on November 8, 1994 – State of New Mexico" (PDF).
- "State of New Mexico Official 1998 General Election Results for Governor Of New Mexico". Archived from the original on November 30, 2008.
- 2001 and 2002 State of the State speeches from stateline.org
- Failure-to-Launch, Nick Heil, Outside, September 12, 2011
- Republican Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson On Technology, Benjamin Kuo, socalTECH.com, November 2011
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gary Johnson.|
|Wikinews has related news: GOP presidential candidate Gary Johnson considers Libertarian Party run|
|Wikinews has related news: U.S. presidential candidate Gary Johnson leaves GOP to vie for the LP nom|
|Wikinews has related news: Wikinews interviews former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party|
- Official website
- Former official campaign website
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Financial information at OpenSecrets.org
|Party political offices|
|Republican nominee for Governor of New Mexico
|Libertarian nominee for President of the United States
|Governor of New Mexico