Gary Johnson is the former Republican governor of New Mexico who ran for the U.S. presidency as a Libertarian in 2012 and 2016. Before Johnson entered politics in 1994, he was in the construction business. Right out of the University of New Mexico in 1975, he started his own company, Big J Enterprises, which he sold two decades later for $5 million. In his first run for political office, Johnson was elected governor of New Mexico in 1994; he was re-elected in 1998. Fiscally conservative and socially liberal, Johnson's terms as New Mexico's governor were marked by a record-setting number of vetoes on spending bills -- more than 700 -- and an opening in the discussion of decriminalizing marijuana for medical purposes (Johnson used medical marijuana for two years while recovering from a 2005 paragliding accident). He began a run for the presidency as a Republican in 2011, but switched to the Libertarian Party prior to the 2012 election. In the general election, Johnson won more than 1.2 million votes -- under 1% -- despite being shut out of presidential debates with Republican Mitt Romney
and Democrat Barack Obama
. After the 2012 election, Johnson founded a political action committee and served as the CEO of Cannabis Sativa, Inc., a post he held until resigning in 2016 to run again for the Libertarian nomination for the presidency.