Governor Johnson, who has been referred to as the ‘most fiscally conservative Governor’ in the country, was the Republican Governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003, and was the Libertarian Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 and 2016 elections.
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.
A successful businessman before running for office in 1994, Gov. Johnson started a door-to-door handyman business to help pay his way through college. Twenty years later, he had grown the firm into one of the largest construction companies in New Mexico with over 1,000 employees. Not surprisingly, Governor Johnson brings a distinctly business-like mentality to governing, believing that decisions should be made based on cost-benefit analysis rather than strict ideology.
Johnson is best known for his veto record, which includes over 750 vetoes during his time in office, more than all other governors combined and his use of the veto pen has since earned him the nickname “Governor Veto.” He cut taxes 14 times while never raising them. When he left office, New Mexico was one of only four states in the country with a balanced budget.
Term-limited, Johnson retired from public office in 2003. An avid skier, adventurer, and bicyclist, he has reached the highest peak on five of the seven continents, including Mt. Everest.
In 2009, after becoming increasingly concerned with the country’s out-of-control national debt and precarious financial situation, the Governor formed the OUR America Initiative, a 501c(4) non-profit that promotes fiscal responsibility, civil liberties, and rational public policy. He traveled to more than 30 states and spoke to over 150 conservative and libertarian groups during his time as Honorary Chairman.
He has two grown children- a daughter Seah and a son Erik and currently resides in a house he built himself in Taos, New Mexico.