Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson became the first candidate to formally announce his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination today. Others have announced creation of exploratory committees which essentially means they have already decided to run. Johnson decided to skip that formality and jump right into the campaign.
Johnson made the announcement on the steps of the state Capitol building in Concord, New Hampshire.
"America needs someone who will say no to the insane spending and stop the madness that has become Washington, have the qualifications, the ability and the know-how to do the job."
Johnson is well known for his libertarian advocacy of limited government and the preservation of individual freedoms. Johnson served as Governor from 1994-2002, gaining national notice by vetoing over 700 bills.
As a candidate for President he is calling for a balanced budget tomorrow, and an end to U.S. involvement in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan. He also advocates solving the immigration issue by creating a better temporary work visa program and doing away with the border fence.
Johnson also supports the legalization of marijuana, gay rights, and a woman's right to choose. Those issues, not usually associated with a Republican presidential candidate likely explain why Johnson chose to make his announcement in New Hampshire, a state whose motto is "Live Free or Die."
Johnson faces an uphill battle because of his low name recognition and lack of money in comparison to other potential candidates. The next few months will be a crucial test of his ability to attract attention from the media, and more importantly, from donors willing to back him.