Millionaire Gary E. Johnson Making Rounds in Fla.

Monday, 29 Nov 2010 11:59 AM

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Millionaires with political ambitions keep turning up in Florida. The latest, Gary E. Johnson, is visiting the politically important Sunshine State to promote himself as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2012, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

Johnson could almost be a future version of Florida's neophyte governor-elect, Rick Scott. Johnson ran for governor of New Mexico in 1994 as a first-time political candidate and won, in his case beating a Democratic incumbent. He governed as a fiscal conservative with a busy veto pen and was re-elected in 1998.

Like former healthcare executive Scott, Johnson wants to curb government spending and promote private enterprise. The two may differ, however, on at least one policy point: Johnson says he would legalize marijuana.

"I don't drink. I don't smoke pot. But I've drank and I've smoked pot," said Johnson. "The big difference between the two is that marijuana is a lot safer than alcohol."

Johnson, 57, came to politics from the construction business. He is also an avid outdoorsman who has climbed Mt. Everest and competed in Iron Man triathlons.

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