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Some colorful governors

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Political antics include a bust and a $2,000 turkey

By Jay Miller

Who were New Mexico’s most off-beat governors?  My choices are Dave Cargo, Gary Johnson and Clyde Tingley.
It isn’t difficult for most New Mexicans to remember Gary Johnson. He was governor back just the other side of Bill Richardson.  It often seemed as though Johnson was more interested in his athletic feats than in being governor.
But Johnson did attend to business, keeping New Mexico’s budget under firm control while pushing his libertarian views of restraining government from interfering in people’s business or private lives.
That famously included allowing people to do drugs as long as they didn’t hurt anyone else. He also vetoed a motorcycle helmet law, saying people should be allowed to enjoy motorcycling any way they want as long as taxpayers don’t foot the medical bills for bikers mistakes.
Clyde Tingley was governor way back during the Depression.
He was a heavy equipment operator, with little education but his boundless energy, big personality and an eagerness to make things better led to tremendous improvements in the infrastructure of Albuquerque.
Many monuments to his efforts still are standing.  They include the state fairgrounds, Tingley Coliseum, Tingley Field and Tingley Beach.


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