Jeff Johnson (Minnesota politician)

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Jeff Johnson
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 43A district
In office
January 7, 2003 – January 2, 2007
Preceded by  ???
Succeeded by Sarah Anderson
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 34B district
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 6, 2003
Preceded by Henry Todd Van Dellen
Succeeded by Kurt Zellers
Personal details
Born (1966-11-11) November 11, 1966 (age 47)
Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sondi Johnson
Children Thor
Rolf
Alma mater Concordia College, Moorhead
Georgetown University
Religion Lutheranism
Website Official website
Campaign website

Jeff Johnson (born 1966) is a politician from Minnesota and the 2014 Republican nominee for governor. He was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2000 and served from 2001 until 2007. He left office to run unsuccessfully for state attorney general in 2006. Now the Hennepin County commissioner for the 7th district,[1][2][3] he was elected as the national Committeeman from Minnesota in April 2011.[4]

Early life, education, and career[edit]

The area around Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.

Born in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, Johnson graduated from Detroit Lakes High School in Minnesota in 1985. He received a triple Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science/history in 1989 from Concordia College and attended Georgetown University Law School, earning a J.D. in 1992.

Johnson then practiced at the law firms of Lord, Bissell and Brook in Chicago and Parsinen, Kaplan & Levy in Minneapolis. He joined Cargill, Inc. in 1998, practicing employment and labor law until starting his own company, Midwest Employment Resources, providing employment law and human resources services to companies throughout the country.

In 2000, Johnson successfully ran for the Minnesota House of Representatives in district 34B, winning 62.8 percent of the vote for the seat vacated by Henry Todd Van Dellen, who had retired. In 2006 he ran for state attorney general, but lost to the DFL candidate, Lori Swanson, with 40.72% of the vote.

Republican National Committee[edit]

In 2011, Johnson won an upset victory over Tom Emmer for the position of Minnesota’s Republican National Committeeman. He was reelected without opposition as Committeeman to a full four-year term in 2012.[5]

Minnesota House of Representatives[edit]

First elected in 2000, Johnson served as Assistant Majority Leader from 2003 to 2007 and was Chair of Civil Law and Elections Committee in the 84th Legislative Session.

2014 Minnesota gubernatorial campaign[edit]

On May 5, 2013, Johnson announced that he was running for governor. He earned the Republican Party endorsement at their May 2014 convention, and defeated three other serious candidates in the August 12 primary to become the party's nominee to challenge incumbent Democratic Governor Mark Dayton.

Controversy[edit]

In March 2010, the Hennepin County Board tabled a request by Sheriff Rich Stanek to spend $426,150 to acquire the cellphone spying program KingFish. Johnson voted against tabling the motion, with the Star Tribune reporting that ”Commissioner Jeff Johnson said he was convinced it was an important and useful law enforcement tool that wouldn’t violate privacy rights.”[6] Johnson was absent the day funding was finally approved. Johnson later wrote in a blog post that he was able to ask Stanek’s office questions about KingFish and was “…quite comfortable with the answers” he received.[7]

In December 2013, Johnson publicly repudiated his KingFish vote. While admitting that he had supported it, he said it was one of the "votes I might choose to change".[8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Jeff (on campaign website)". 
  2. ^ "DL native launches Governor campaign". 
  3. ^ "Hennepin County profile". 
  4. ^ "GOP profile webpage". 
  5. ^ "Bachmann, Kline and Coleman back Emmer's RNC bid". Minnesota Public Radio. 2011-02-18. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  6. ^ "This time, Stanek lands KingFish phone tracker". Star Tribune. 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  7. ^ Clayton, Mark (2013-12-13). "Why 'KingFish' will soon become an important word in politics for the GOP". MinnPost. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  8. ^ "Johnson: “I Would Not Support the Kingfish Purchase Today”". politics.mn. 2013-12-10. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  9. ^ "Jeff Johnson - One of the first emails I sent out in this...". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Tom Emmer
Republican nominee for Governor of Minnesota
2014
Most recent