Gary Earl Johnson was born January 1, 1953 in Minot, North Dakota to Lorraine and Earl Johnson. He was married to his college sweetheart, Denise, but they divorced in 2005. She died unexpectedly in late 2006, which was later determined to be due to heart disease. They have two children.
He is currently engaged to Kate Prusack, a Santa Fe Realtor. The two “met on a bike ride” and have been dating since 2008. Mr. Johnson proposed in 2009.
1971- Graduated from Sandia High school in Albuquerque, New Mexico
1975- Graduated University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Science degree
Competed in the Bataan Memorial Death March, which is a 25 mile desert run wearing combat boots and a 35 pound backpack
Regularly participates in Hawaii’s invitation-only Ironman Triatholon Championship
Mountain biked the European eight day Adidas TransAlps Challenge
Avid skier, adventurer, and bicyclist
Has reached four of the highest peaks on all seven continents
2003- Climbed Mount Everest
2005- Was involved in a near fatal paragliding accident. His wing got caught in a tree and he fell about fifty feet to the ground. He suffered multiple fractured bones, a broken rib and a broken knee. For three years after the accident he used marijuana to control the pain resulting from the accident.
College- Quite successful as a door-to-door handyman
1976- Started his own business, Big J Enterprises where he received a large contract with Intel’s Rio Rancho expansion. This contract increased his business revenue to $38 million. Over time Big J grew into a multi-million dollar corporation employing more than 1,000 employees.
1999- Sold Big J Enterprises, which by the time he sold it, had become one of New Mexico’s leading construction companies
1994- Elected as Governor of New Mexico
1998- Ran for re-election for Governor and won 55% to 45%
April 21, 2011- Announced his Candidacy for 2012 Presidency
Known as having low tax libertarian views
Has been called the ‘most fiscally conservative Governor’ in the country
Has been called “the original Tea Party candidate” due to his stance and success on cutting taxes
Cut the 10% annual growth in New Mexico’s budget by using his veto power as governor on half of the bills his first six months in office.
Earned the nickname “Governor Veto” due to his frequent use of his veto power.
Set state and national records for vetoes- a total of 750 vetoes while in office- more than the other 49 contemporary governors combined
He cut taxes 14 times and never raised them.
Left office as Governor with New Mexico being one of only four states in the country with a balanced budget.
Reason Magazine described his accomplishments in a 2001 articles in the following words:
“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.”
A New Mexico paper wrote of him:
“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.”
In regards to his numerous vetoes, with only two of the vetoes being overridden, Johnson is quoting as saying they [the vetoes]:
“stemmed from his philosophy of looking at all things for their cost-benefit ratio and his axe fell on Republicans as well as Democrats.”
Previously a member of the National Governor’s Association
Previously a member of the Republican Governor’s Association
Previously a member of the Western Governor’s Association
2009- Formed OUR America Initiative, a 501c(4) non-profit that advocates for fiscal responsibility, civil liberties, and rational public policy
Currently serves on the Advisory Council of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. This is a student nonprofit organization that believes that the war on drugs should be reevaluated.
Currently serves on the board of directors of Student For Liberty, which is a college-aged national political organization.
2008- Endorsed Ron Paul for the Republican Presidential nomination
This makes for an interesting twist now that they are political opponents, running for the very same office.
On The Issues
Socially Liberal Libertarian
Limited government philosophy
Supports marijuana decriminalization
Supports simplifying and lowering taxes
Supports balancing the federal budget immediately
Supports “slashing government spending“, including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security
Supports passing a law allowing states to file bankruptcy
Encourages fathers’ participation in child-raising- would allow federal funds and state involvement in these initiatives
This quote regarding Gary Johnson “on the issues” is from 2001. I would like to know if he still stands by allowing federal funds to be used for these initiatives.
Strongly opposes a federal bailout for any state
Opposes National Sales Tax or VAT
Opposes the war in Afghanistan
Opposes the Libyan Civil War
Has been opposed to the Iraq war from the beginning and continues to call for American presence to end in that country
Medicare and Medicaid
His plan would cut these two programs by 43% by turning them into block grant programs, giving control of the spending to the states. He says by doing this we will create “fifty laboratories of innovation”.
In The Spotlight
February 2011- Was a featured speaker at C-PAC where
“the crowd liked him – even as he pushed some of his more controversial points.”
February 2011- Was a featured speaker at the Republican Liberty Caucus
May 5, 2011- Participated in the first GOP Presidential Debate for 2012
There is much to be said about first impressions. Before this first debate I had no idea who Gary Johnson was. Sadly, my first impression of him was not that good. If you read the article that I wrote the night of the debate you will see by the end of the night things were not as bad as in the beginning. After profiling him for this article there are a lot of things I like about Mr. Johnson. However, to quote the article above:
“Gary Johnson’s stance on this issue absolutely, without a doubt lost my vote if he had not already, when he discussed his pro-choice views. No thank you, Mr. Johnson! No thank you!”
This is one thing I cannot compromise on. If you have read any of my articles regarding mine and my husband’s journey to have a family you will understand why this is an absolute for me. I cannot and will not budge on this issue- ever! Life begins at conception. I cannot vote for someone who believes a woman has a right to choose whether or not she carries life or kills life.