Jeff Johnson (Minnesota politician)
|Member of the |
Hennepin County Board of Commissioners
from the 7th district
|Assumed office |
January 1, 2009
|Preceded by||Penny Steele|
|Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives|
from the 43A district
January 7, 2003 – January 2, 2007
|Preceded by||Tom Workman|
|Succeeded by||Sarah Anderson|
|Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives|
from the 34B district
January 3, 2001 – January 6, 2003
|Preceded by||Todd Van Dellen|
|Succeeded by||Kurt Zellers|
|Born||November 11, 1966|
Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, U.S.
|Education||Concordia College (BA)|
Georgetown University (JD)
Jeff Johnson (born November 11, 1966) is an American politician from Minnesota. He was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2000 and served there from 2001 to 2007. Johnson left the legislature to run for state attorney general in 2006, but was defeated. Johnson now serves as Hennepin County commissioner for the 7th district. He was elected as the Republican National Committeeman from Minnesota in April 2011. Johnson was the Republican nominee for governor of Minnesota in 2014, losing to incumbent Mark Dayton, and again in the 2018 Minnesota gubernatorial election, losing to the Democratic nominee, U.S. Representative Tim Walz.
Early life, education, and career
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 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
In 2011, Johnson ran against Tom Emmer for the position of Minnesota's Republican National Committeeman, winning an upset victory. In 2012, he was elected without opposition to a full four-year term as Committeeman.
Minnesota House of Representatives
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
On May 5, 2013, Johnson announced that he was running for governor. He received the Republican Party endorsement at their May 2014 convention, and defeated four other candidates in the August 12 primary to become the party's nominee to challenge incumbent Governor Mark Dayton. He was defeated in the November general election by a six-point margin.
2018 Minnesota gubernatorial campaign
On May 10, 2017, Johnson announced that he would again seek the Republican endorsement for governor of Minnesota. On June 2, 2018, the Republican Party of Minnesota formally endorsed him at their state convention in Duluth. On August 14, in what many political commentators considered an upset, Johnson defeated former Governor Tim Pawlenty in the primary election to become the party's nominee. He lost the general election to the Democratic nominee, U.S. Representative Tim Walz.
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." 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.
- "About Jeff (on campaign website)".
- "DL native launches Governor campaign".
- "Hennepin County profile". Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "GOP profile webpage".
- "Minnesota Governor Election Results". Retrieved 2018-11-11.
- "Bachmann, Kline and Coleman back Emmer's RNC bid". Minnesota Public Radio. 2011-02-18. Retrieved 2014-08-13.
- "This time, Stanek lands KingFish phone tracker". Star Tribune. 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2014-08-13.
- Clayton, Mark (2013-12-13). "Why 'KingFish' will soon become an important word in politics for the GOP". MinnPost. Retrieved 2014-08-13.
- "Johnson: "I Would Not Support the Kingfish Purchase Today"". politics.mn. 2013-12-10. Retrieved 2014-08-13.
- "Jeff Johnson - One of the first emails I sent out in this..." Facebook. Retrieved 2014-08-13.
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for Governor of Minnesota