Gary Earl Johnson is an American businessman and Republican politician who served as the 29th Governor of the U.S. state of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003. He is well-known for his low-tax libertarian views and his regular participation in triathlons.
Founder of one of New Mexico's largest construction companies, Johnson entered politics for the first time by running for Governor of New Mexico in 1994 on a conservative, low-tax, anti-crime platform. He beat incumbent Democratic governor Bruce King by 50% to 40%. He cut the 10% annual growth in the budget by using his gubernatorial veto on half of bills in the first six months.
He sought re-election in 1998, winning by 55% to 45%. In his second term, he concentrated on the issue of school voucher reformsas well as campaigning for marijuana decriminalization. During his tenure as governor, he adhered strictly to an anti-tax, anti-bureaucracy program, and set state and national records for his use of veto powers more than the other 49 contemporary governors put together. Term-limited, Johnson retired from politics at the end of his second term. He "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 2009, he founded the Our America Initiative, a 501(c)(4) "nonprofit political advocacy committee that promotes common-sense business approaches to governing.
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