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On April 21, Gary Johnson stood in front of the New Hampshire State House in Concord and announced his candidacy for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Afterwards, the online newspaper “Slate” noted, “Only 14 percent of Republicans have the faintest idea of who he is.”
Still later that evening, ABC News summed up the former New Mexico governor’s quest as, at best, “a long-shot bid for the White House.”
Johnson would probably agree with that assessment, but he also remembers how virtually every political soothsayer in his own home state was saying much the same thing in 1994 after he announced his candidacy for the GOP gubernatorial nomination that year.
Yet, doubters notwithstanding, when the first Tuesday of November 1994 rolled around, Johnson convincingly defeated New Mexico’s longest serving governor, Bruce King, who was one of those rare political figures to enjoy the affection of even his severest critics. Four years later,
Gary Johnson became the first New Mexico governor to be reelected to a second consecutive four year term.
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