Gary E. Johnson

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Gary Earl Johnson (born January 1, 1953) is an entrepreneur and served as the Republican Governor of New Mexico from 1995 through 2003. He graduated from the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque in 1975 and would go on to launch his own business, Big J Enterprises, which became one of the most successful construction companies in New Mexico.

Johnson was elected Governor of New Mexico in 1994 and reelected in 1998, the first governor in state history to serve two consecutive four-year terms. As Governor he annually reduced taxes $123 million, vetoed 750 bills (more than the other 49 governors in country combined) cut the rate of government growth in half, reduced welfare spending 30%, balanced the budget, eliminated the state's deficit, privatized half of the state prisons, while increased the budget for the state's education system and signed a $1.2 billion highway improvement package to upgrade 500 miles of state roads. When leaving office New Mexico had 1200 fewer employees. [1]

Johnson's positions are libertarian leaning and some of his views are outside the mainstream of the Republican Party, such as opposing the prohibition of drugs. He endorsed Ron Paul during the 2008 Presidential Election. Johnson's name has been mentioned as a possible candidate for President in 2012.

Johnson is a triathlete and the first governor to compete in Hawaii's Ironman Triathlon.