|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Ohio's 6th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Charlie Wilson|
|Born||November 10, 1954|
Roseboro, North Carolina, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Wanda Porter (Divorced)|
|Education||Troy University (BS)|
Georgia Institute of Technology (MS)
|Branch/service||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1973–1999|
|Awards||Meritorious Service Medal|
Air Force Commendation Medal
National Defense Service Medal
William Leslie Johnson (born November 10, 1954) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for Ohio's 6th congressional district since 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Born in Roseboro, North Carolina in 1954, he grew up on family farms. He entered the United States Air Force in 1973, and married Wanda Florence Porter on April 30, 1975. They had 3 children. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after a military career of more than 26 years. He graduated summa cum laude from Troy University in Troy, Alabama in 1979, and he earned his master's degree from Georgia Tech in 1984. During his tenure in the U.S. Air Force, Johnson was recognized as a Distinguished Graduate from the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, Squadron Officers School, and Air Command & Staff College.
He is a recipient of the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. As Director of the Air Force's Chief Information Officer Staff at U.S. Special Operations Command, he worked directly with senior congressional and Secretary of Defense representatives, as well as top leaders within the various U.S. intelligence communities, to ensure America's Special Operations forces were adequately equipped to carry out critical national security missions.
He co-founded Johnson-Schley Management Group, an information technology (IT) consulting company that increased revenues by more than 200% in just three years under his leadership. In 2003, he left the company to form J2 Business Solutions, where he provided executive level IT support as a defense contractor to the U.S. military. From 2006 to 2010, he served as Chief Information Officer of a global manufacturer of electronic components for the transportation industry.
In May 2010, Johnson defeated two primary opponents to earn the Republican nomination. In the general election, Johnson won his bid by a 50–45% margin against incumbent Charlie Wilson. He began his term in the 112th United States Congress on January 3, 2011.
In November 2011, Wilson filed a rematch in the newly redrawn 6th District, which had been made slightly friendlier to Republicans in redistricting. Johnson defeated Wilson again in a heavily contested race 53% to 47%, and began his second term in January 2013.
In 2014, Johnson faced off against heavily recruited Democrat Jennifer Garrison, a former State Representative and lawyer from Marietta, Ohio. Johnson defeated Garrison handily 58% to 39% with Green Party candidate Dennis Lambert taking 3%. He began his third term in January 2015.
Johnson was re-elected to a fourth term in the 2016 general election, defeating Democrat Michael Lorentz, the mayor of Belpre, Ohio by a margin of 71%-29%.
Johnson was re-elected to a fifth term, defeating Democrat Shawna Roberts, of Barnesville, Ohio, by a margin of 69%-30%.
On January 7, 2021, Johnson objected to the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results in Congress based on false claims of voter fraud.
Additionally, the House passed Johnson's "World War II Memorial Prayer Act" which would require the prayer President Franklin Roosevelt gave on D-Day to be placed on the World War II memorial.
The House also passed Johnson's "Stop the War on Coal Act" which would stop the creation of any new rules that threaten mining jobs. Both pieces of legislation have been sent to the Senate for consideration. Johnson sponsored of H.R. 4036, the "Pass a Budget Now Act" which would cut the pay of legislators if a budget is not passed by April 15 of each year.
Johnson referred to the EPA's ruling as "absurd" and said that "it is unconscionable that the EPA has put our public safety at risk because during the hot summer months sometimes, somewhere kids may play in fire hydrant water."
Opponents of the bill described it as a bill that would require "OSM to implement the flawed 2008 Stream Buffer Zone rule and prevent the agency from improving that rule for a minimum of seven years."
As protesters call for the removal of statues across the country deemed racist, Johnson authored an opinion piece for the Washington Examiner, titled "Our History Can Safeguard our Future." In his piece, Johnson defends such statues, stating "To really unify our country, we must pause and consider our history to provide context for our current national dialogue. We need to step out from behind our keyboards and learn more of the nuance of our shared heritage."
In a candidates' questionnaire in 2010, Johnson wrote, "I am pro-life, and I oppose abortion except in the case of rape, incest, and when the mother's life is in danger. Additionally, I support parental notification and a ban on partial birth abortions." During his 2010 and 2012 general elections, Johnson received the endorsement of the Ohio Right to Life PAC.
At a 2016 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Environmental Protection Agency regulations, Johnson called the agency "un-American" and accused it of "draining the lifeblood out of our businesses." Johnson's statement prompted criticism from Democratic members on the committee.
A lifelong member of the National Rifle Association, Johnson opposes restrictions on gun ownership. He was endorsed by the NRA in 2012.
Johnson opposes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and supports repealing it.
From the beginning, Johnson supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to impose a temporary ban on entry to the U.S. to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, characterizing it as necessary to prevent terrorist attacks. After the federal courts struck down the initial executive order, Johnson supported a replacement executive order imposing a revised travel ban.
Johnson opposes the legalization of same-sex marriage, stating that it "undermines the integrity of the American family."
According to FiveThirtyEight, an opinion poll analysis website, Johnson voted in line with President Trump on average 97.7% of the time during his tenure.
On December 18, 2019 Johnson held a moment of silence for Trump voters during House debates on articles of impeachment, stating “This is a sad day for America, this partisan impeachment sham seeks to disenfranchise 63 million American voters... So I want to use my time to call on this chamber, for members to rise and observe a moment of silent reflection. To give every member here the chance to pause for a moment and remember the voices of the 63 million American voters the Democrats today are wanting to silence."
In April 2018, Johnson defended EPA head Scott Pruitt who at the time was embroiled in a number of investigations over ethics violations. While Pruitt was being grilled, largely along party lines, during an April 2018 hearing about the ethics concerns, Johnson said, "I think it's shameful today that this hearing has turned into a personal attack hearing and a shameful attempt to denigrate the work that's being done at the EPA and with this administration". Public officials should have ethical standards "beyond reproach ... but so should members of Congress", he added.
In December 2020, Johnson was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives who signed an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden prevailed over incumbent Donald Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of the election held by another state.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement that called signing the amicus brief an act of "election subversion." Additionally, Pelosi reprimanded Johnson and the other House members who supported the lawsuit: "The 126 Republican Members that signed onto this lawsuit brought dishonor to the House. Instead of upholding their oath to support and defend the Constitution, they chose to subvert the Constitution and undermine public trust in our sacred democratic institutions." New Jersey Representative Bill Pascrell, citing section three of the 14th Amendment, called for Pelosi to not seat Johnson and the other Republicans who signed the brief supporting the suit. Pascrell argued that "the text of the 14th Amendment expressly forbids Members of Congress from engaging in rebellion against the United States. Trying to overturn a democratic election and install a dictator seems like a pretty clear example of that."
|2010||U.S. House of Representatives||General||Bill Johnson||Republican||103,170||50.19%||Charlie Wilson||Democratic||92,823||45.15%||Richard Cadle||Constitution||5,077||2.47%||Martin Elsass||Libertarian||4,505||2.19%|
|2012||U.S. House of Representatives||General||Bill Johnson||Republican||164,536||53.25%||Charlie Wilson||Democratic||144,444||46.75%|
|2014||U.S. House of Representatives||General||Bill Johnson||Republican||111,026||58.24%||Jennifer Garrison||Democratic||73,561||38.58%||Dennis Lambert||Green||6,065||3.18%|
|2016||U.S. House of Representatives||General||Bill Johnson||Republican||213,975||70.68%||Mike Lorentz||Democratic||88,780||29.32%|
|2018||U.S. House of Representatives||General||Bill Johnson||Republican||169,668||69.29%||Shawna Roberts||Democratic||75,196||30.71%|