Occupational Background: Grew a one-man construction business into one of New Mexico's largest, employing 1,000 people
Educational Background: B.S., University of New Mexico
Prior Governmental Experience: New Mexico Governor, 1995-2003
Gary Johnson is no stranger to taking on partisan political forces. He was elected Governor of New Mexico as a Republican in an overwhelming Democratic state — and re-elected to a second term by a wide margin despite being challenged by a popular and well-known Democrat.
As a businessman, Gary ran for Governor with no prior political resume other than his college political science degree and a passion for helping people. And although Gary considers himself to be libertarian-minded, he has always believed that good public policy should be based on a practical cost/benefit analysis, rather than strict ideology.
Johnson is best known for resisting the temptation to solve every problem with government spending and regulation, having vetoed more than 750 bills during his time in office — probably more than all other governors combined. He also cut taxes 14 times while never raising them. He balanced the state's budget, and left New Mexico with a billion-dollar surplus.
Yet, despite cutting taxes and the size of government, he improved New Mexico schools, executed a major infrastructure overhaul, and earned national accolades for his leadership in handling the devastating Cerro Grande Fire that swept across the state in 2000.
As an avid skier, adventurer, ironman, and bicyclist, Gary has scaled the highest peak on each of the seven continents, including Mt. Everest.
(This information furnished by Gary Johnson 2016.)