Before several hundred people at a rally in Tracy Park Saturday, Johnson made it official, after talking with party officials in Scioto County, and parts of Adams County and Lawrence County, ending the speculation he may make a run for the seat currently held by Todd Book, who is a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Raised on Duck Run, also the home of Gov. Ted Strickland, Johnson said he wants to work across the aisle, and with Strickland.
“I want to make sure to make that point, I want to work with the governor,” he said.
Johnson was asked why he made the decision to run for the seat, which will be vacant in 2010 when the election is held.
“I have been watching both locally and nationally the direction our government is going in, and the way that I approach everything that I do is through service orientation,” Johnson said. “I decided to be a doctor because I thought I could help people. I decided to go into the National Guard because it would give me a chance to serve my state and my country. The service end of that was just a wonderful thing.”
Johnson talked about politicians he has watched in the past.
“I won’t cast aspersions, and I won’t name names, and say this person does this, and that person doesn’t. But for me, looking at politicians, I feel that often the first consideration is, ‘where is this going to take me and my career’?” Johnson said. “I want you to know that for Terry Johnson this is not a positive career move. This is something that is purely service, and something that needs done.”
Johnson said he wants to set an example for other people he said sit back and say they could run for an office, “but are not going to — because.”
Johnson said those people need to run.
“If you’re a good person with a good heart, and you qualify for office, a tax-paying, good-hearted citizen, you need to step up and take responsibility,” Johnson said. “So I looked at that and I decided I needed to actually do this.”
Johnson spoke to the crowd about politicians “breezing through” the community, making promises, then not keeping them, obviously referring to President Barack Obama’s administration’s denial of a loan guarantee to USEC for a centrifuge enrichment facility.
“You can watch it on TV, hundreds of billions of dollars,” Johnson told the crowd Saturday. “And all USEC asked for was a loan guarantee. They didn’t ask for money, just guaranteeing the loan. And this administration said no.”
Johnson received an endorsement from John McCain’s fellow prison of war, Tom Moe, and offered his support to the military and area law enforcement, fire departments and EMT’s.
Johnson was asked, if elected, what he would run into after the current two-year budget runs out.
“The national economy drives the state economy. It is very difficult for the state economy to do well in the national environment like we have now,” Johnson said. “The situation we find ourselves in now is unprecedented, going all the way back to the Great Depression. We haven’t reached Great Depression status yet, but that does not mean that it couldn’t happen. Actions taken in Washington, if they are done incorrectly, could effect us even more deeply. Our unemployment rate is 13 percent. Even if things get better. What I’m really upset about is people going off and saying they are going to be advocates for the people of southern Ohio, and then being primarily advocates for themselves. I will not do that. I want real jobs and real prosperity in southern Ohio.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.