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Presidential candidate has Kenmare roots

Gary Johnson is the only presidential candidate who has ties to Kenmare, and has actually been in Kenmare.

8/09/16 (Tue)


An alternative to voting for Hillary or Trump . . . Gary Johnson, the son of Kenmare native, Earl Johnson, is the Libertarian party candidate on the ballot for U.S. president. Johnson is a former governor of New Mexico. His father, Earl, graduated from Kenmare High School in 1940.

By Marvin Baker

Gary Johnson is the only presidential candidate who has ties to Kenmare, and has actually been in Kenmare.

Johnson, a former New Mexico governor, is currently running for U.S. president as the Libertarian party candidate. His name will appear on the ballot this November along with the much better known candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Gary Johnson’s father, Earl Johnson, grew up in Kenmare and graduated from Kenmare High School in 1940. Earl was a All-State athlete for the Kenmare High School football, basketball and track teams.

Earl’s KHS athletic career included a trip to the state basketball tournament in 1940, in which Earl was named to the All-State team.

Earl Johnson returned to Kenmare for a visit in 2004 during an All-School reunion. He was back again three years later.

In September 2007, Earl Johnson, a 1949 Minot State University graduate who was 88 years old at the time, was named a Golden Award winner, a prestigious honor given by the MSU Alumni Association.

It was at that time in 2007 that Gary and sister Lori, along with their father, all visited Kenmare.

“Gary Johnson was here in Kenmare with his dad and sister,” Kenmare News Publisher Terry Froseth said. “In fact, he was here in The Kenmare News office.”

Froseth was aware that Gary Johnson was the former New Mexico governor, but surprised to see Johsnon as a candidate on the presidential ballot five years later in 2012.

Earl spent much of his childhood in the 1920s and 30s living in the Irvin Hotel downtown Kenmare, where his mother was employed. In 2007, Earl had hoped to show his children the house his dad had built, where Earl had lived part of his childhood, prior to his dad’s death.

Unfortunately, the house that once stood to the east of  the water tower, as Earl remembered it, had long ago been demolished.

Gary Johnson, who was born in Minot in 1953, moved with his parents to New Mexico when he was a young boy. His father taught perceptual motor learning to handicapped students at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Recent attempts by The Kenmare News to contact Gary Johnson for specific comments on his current presidential candidacy and his North Dakota roots have been unsuccessful... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!