Editor’s Note: As we approach the November General Election, the Gallipolis Daily Tribune and The Daily Sentinel will be running articles allowing the candidates in contested races to introduce themselves and tell the voters why they are running for office. Each candidate is asked, in their own words, to respond to two questions — tell us about yourself and why are you running for this office.
OHIO VALLEY — Voters in the 6th District of Ohio will choose between incumbent Republican Congressman Bill Johnson and Democrat challenger Shawna Roberts, who also faced Johnson in 2018 as well.
Johnson’s responses can be found below. Responses have not be received from Roberts.
Tell us about yourself:
Congressman Bill Johnson, born and raised on family farms, learned early the values of hard work, honesty, and sacrifice. Those values have stayed with Johnson throughout his life and have made him the leader he is today.
Johnson entered the U.S. Air Force in 1973, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after a distinguished military career of more than 26 years. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Troy University in Troy, Alabama, in 1979, and earned his Master’s Degree from Georgia Tech in 1984.
Following his retirement from military service, Johnson helped create two information technology consulting companies, and served as Chief Information Officer for a global manufacturing company headquartered in Ohio. He’s been active in his church and community. He was first elected to Congress in November 2010.
Bill Johnson serves on the House Energy & Commerce and Budget Committees. Last November, he was elected to his fourth term earning 70 percent of the vote. Since first being elected, he’s been an effective, bipartisan legislator with 18 pieces of his legislation signed into law.
Johnson has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), the Ohio Farm Bureau, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the Plumbers and Pipefitters, the National Right to Life and the NRA.
Bill Johnson resides in Marietta with his wife LeeAnn and son Nathan. Johnson is also the proud parent of three other successful grown children: Joshua, Julie, and Jessica, and he has six grandchildren.
Why I decided to run for this office?
The people of Eastern & Southeastern Ohio deserve a leader in Washington, who hasn’t forgotten where he comes from, to make commonsense decisions about what is best for them. I want to continue my work on the issues that affect citizens in my district most.
Access to broadband internet is a key challenge because it impacts economic development (remote working), healthcare (telehealth access), and education (distance learning). I’ll continue working with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to get accurate data about the extent of the rural internet access problem. I’ll support the necessary funding to ensure that areas unserved and underserved by private sector internet service providers are given priority connectivity options.
I’m proud of my record to expand access to telehealth services. In Eastern and Southeastern Ohio, it’s vitally important that we continue to be innovative in how we expand access to health care while keeping costs low…and promoting telehealth is a major step in the right direction We are at the very leading edge of these efforts and must continue to move the ball forward on this bipartisan issue.
We also must find ways to bring Americans together. The violence and lawlessness must stop. When protesters are screaming “Death to America” and police officers sitting in their police cars are ambushed and shot, there is something deeply troubling going on in our culture. In an effort to build empathy, make college more affordable, create stronger communities and give young people more opportunities to learn the value of serving others, I’ve introduced legislation called the ‘Scholarship for Service: Building Better Americans Act” that would provide a scholarship for two years of college for those high school graduates who choose to serve their nation (or community) in the military, emergency medical service, police force, firefighter, or as a teacher’s assistant.
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.