Local News

October 14, 2012

Johnson claims progressive views but conservative outlook

Howard Johnson calls himself a “constitutional conservative” who believes government should be strictly limited to things that are explicitly spelled out in the Constitution.

“But I also consider myself someone with progressive views. I want the state to move forward. I don’t think we can remain stuck in the past,” he said.

Johnson is the Democratic candidate for state House of Representatives District 5. He faces incumbent Republican John Meadows in the Nov. 6 general election. That district includes western Gordon County and part of southwest Murray County

This is Johnson’s second try for elected office. He ran two years ago as a Republican for the Gordon County Board of Commissioners, finishing fourth in the Republican primary.

“I’ve always been a swing voter. I judge each candidate individually and make up my own mind. I don’t go by the party,” Johnson said. “I’m running as a Democrat because the Democratic Party has always seemed to me like the party of the working man, but it has gotten too liberal and needs to be modulated. It needs a conservative.”

Johnson said that if elected one of his goals would be to try to limit taxes, especially property taxes.

“I saw my own taxes go up 100 percent over four years. I think there should be a limit to how much they can go up each year,” Johnson said.

He said he’d also like to give local law enforcement more resources to do their jobs.

“I’d like to allow local law enforcement, police departments and sheriffs’ offices, to be able to create a reserve force. That way they’d have people to draw from in case of an emergency,” Johnson said.

A retired aircraft maintenance technician with a private pilot’s license, Johnson worked for Pan American World Airways for 20 years, as well as for Astro Dye Works and Goodyear.

Johnson was born in Harland, Ky., and raised in southern Alabama. He came to Gordon County in 1973.

Johnson was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1951 and served two years on active duty. He later served 25 years in the Florida and Georgia Army National Guards.

 

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