Gary Earl Johnson (born January 1, 1953) is an American businessman, a former Governor of New Mexico, and the Libertarian Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election. Johnson served as the 29th Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, as a member of the Republican Party, and is known for his low-tax libertarian views and his regular participation in triathlons.
Johnson founded one of New Mexico's largest construction companies. He entered politics for the first time by running for Governor of New Mexico in 1994 on a fiscally 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: in part, due to his use of the gubernatorial veto 200 times during his first six months in office, which gained him the nickname "Governor Veto".
Johnson sought re-election in 1998, winning by 55% to 45%. In his second term, he concentrated on the issue of school voucher reforms, as well as campaigning for marijuana decriminalization. During his tenure as governor, Johnson adhered to an anti-tax and anti-bureaucracy policy, setting state and national records for his use of veto powers: more than the other 49 contemporary governors put together. Term-limited, Johnson could not run for re-election at the end of his second term. As a fitness enthusiast, Johnson has taken part in several Ironman Triathlons, and he climbed Mount Everest in May 2003.
Johnson announced his candidacy for President on April 21, 2011, as a Republican. On December 28, 2011, he withdrew his candidacy for the Republican nomination and announced that he would continue his presidential campaign as a candidate for the nomination of the Libertarian Party. He won the Libertarian Party nomination on May 5, 2012. His vice-presidential nominee running mate is James P. Gray.