Friday, July 28, 2006

Meet Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson was planning to run for elected office in 2010. Then shortly after the Legislature adjourned sine die in May, Governor Tim Pawlenty appointed Ron Abrams as a judge to the Fourth Judicial District in Hennepin County, and suddenly Abrams's Minnesota House 43B seat was open for the first time in 18 years.

Dave Johnson suddenly realized that 2010 had arrived four years early. On June 5, Johnson received the Republican endorsement, and as of today he has been a candidate for a little less than two months — with only three months until Election Day.

Practically every day since June 5, Johnson has been literally running from house to house in the Minnetonka-Plymouth district, knocking on doors to introduce himself to voters, scouting lawn sign locations, and fundraising. He is recruiting volunteers in an election year when every legislative seat in the state, plus the governor and constitutional officers, is up for election. He mingled in the crowd and shook hands at the Hopkins Raspberry Festival.

Johnson is young, bright, energetic, and passionate, which is what he'll need to sustain him through November. Politics and government is practically in his blood, thanks to the kitchen table tutelage of his father, former Plymouth City Manager Dwight Johnson.

Johnson has experience dealing with complex problems and improving the efficiency of organizations. His bachelor's degree is in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University, and his MBA is from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. A senior supply chain analyst at Medtronic, he is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt.

On the issues, Johnson strongly supports funding for special education, and for increasing local control of schools. He favors dedicated funding of the gasoline tax and license fees to transportation, which would help planners to avoid highway project "potholes" caused by funding that goes up and down unpredictably with the political process. He supports funding for the Clean Water Legacy Act and alternative energy sources.

Dave Johnson's opponent is DFL candidate John Benson, who was narrowly defeated by the Republican Abrams in 2004.

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