Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will announce a run for president in April, according to a report from Fox News on Friday. Johnson served two terms as governor in the 1990s and early 2000s and has often been cited a a potential presidential candidate, including for the Libertarian Party.
Fox reports that Johnson, a Republican, will bypass the exploratory phase and go straight into his candidacy. The report also says Johnson will announce in New Hampshire, the site of the nation’s first primaries and an extremely important early state for presidential hopefuls.
Johnson is a libertarian Republican in the mold of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. Johnson endorsed Paul in the 2008 presidential elections.
Much of the attention that Johnson has received has come from his position on legalizing marijuana in the United States. Johnson also supports gay marriage, a position that would put him at odds with many Republican primary voters.
Johnson has refused to discuss his presidential ambitions in recent months as he traveled around the country with the Our America Initiative. Johnson cites the nonprofit’s 501(c)4 status and his position as Honorary Chairman when explaining why he cannot talk about electoral ambitions.
The travels Johnson has made while speaking on behalf of the project included multiple trips to New Hampshire and Iowa, including a February trip during which he was interviewed by the Iowa Independent. During that conversation, Johnson discussed changes to Social Security he’d attempt to make if elected president. He mentioned raising both the retirement age and the income threshold subject to Social Security tax.
“A reduction perhaps of some benefits, not big here, just a slight reduction if you will,” Johnson told the Iowa Independent. “And perhaps a means testing for all of that.”
Johnson will be the second New Mexico governor to run for president in as many elections. Bill Richardson ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 2008. Richardson nominated eventual Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
Johnson is also known for having vetoed 750 pieces of legislation in his eight years in office, more than the other 49 governors combined during that same time period.