Pot-Loving Gary Johnson Launches Presidential Campaign

| by OpenSecrets
The GOP presidential filing parade continues this week, as former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson formally announced his plans to seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. 

Johnson served two terms at the helm of the United States' 36th most populous state, and he has cultivated a reputation as a libertarian-leaning Republican. He has made somewhat of a name for himself thanks to his support of legalizing marijuana.

But in a press statement released Thursday, Johnson focused on cutting the deficit and shrinking government: "America needs a 'President Vet' right now -- someone who will say no to insane spending and stop the madness that has become Washington," he wrote.

Still, many analysts say Johnson's biggest challenges on his way to the nomination will be name recognition and fund-raising, as well as competing directly against a possible bid by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Paul has two presidential races already under his belt and has become known as the nation's go-to libertarian. He's also a strong fund-raiser.