After two terms as governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson is now taking on a larger role by running as the Libertarian nominee in the 2016 presidential election.

Throughout his political career, Johnson, 63, has worked to reform the government and influence the larger American economy.

According to his campaign website, Johnson served as governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003.

Not only did he make significant improvements to local highways, buildings and schools, but his tight financial plan also brought a billion dollar surplus to the state.

Known as “Honest Johnson,” he was ranked as one of the most fiscally conservative governors during his time in office.

Not only did he veto more than 750 bills, but he also improved New Mexico’s economy without adding state debt.

In 2009, Johnson founded the American Initiative and served as the organization’s honorary chairman for a number of years.

The American Initiative website said Johnson’s original goal was to protect personal freedoms, encourage a small government, and aid in controlling the country’s debt issues.

With the support of individuals and small businesses, the initiative has rapidly grown over the past eight years.

After his time as governor, Johnson attempted to run as the GOP nominee in the 2012 presidential election.

Shortly after, he transitioned to the Libertarian Party because of his close similarities with the group.

According to Johnson’s campaign website, the candidate still shares many of the same political beliefs as those in the GOP.

During this year’s election season, Johnson has been working to carry his personal and political principles into his presidential campaign.

Both Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld, strongly value small government.

In fact, the campaign website largely credits their success to the fact that their values appeal to all three parties.

One of the main topics Johnson addresses in his campaign is tax usage, as well as the debt problems in the U.S. According to Johnson’s campaign website, there is a large spending issue in America, and he hopes to salvage the country from its downward spiral.

Because Johnson values personal freedom, he supports marriage equality.

He said the government should not have control in personal matters, and individuals must have the liberty to make their own decisions.

Similarly, Johnson said abortion should be a personal choice the government should not be involved in.

Both Johnson and Weld hope to make changes to the current drug system.

The campaign website said Johnson believes marijuana is one of the safest drugs and plans to legalize it in the hopes of less overall substance abuse.

Additionally, the party will open a larger number of rehabilitation centers and give people a more active choice in receiving help.

According to USA Today, Johnson’s campaign focuses on the idea of helping the overall state of the country by directly helping its residents.

He also believes that the Libertarian Party should be just as involved in the election as the Democratic and Republican parties.

Katelyn RUTT is the assist. news editor.

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