Todd Johnson has an answer for any voter who wonders what kind of congressman he’d be: Look at what kind of county commissioner he was.
During his single term on the Union County board of commissioners, he said he kept his campaign promises (no tax increase and an eventual tax cut) and he refused to budge even after the county’s board of education sued the commissioners for more funds.
“I spent nine weeks in a courtroom (fighting the suit),” Johnson said. “The easy thing at that point in time would have been to give more money, knowing that I’d have to raise taxes.”
Now Johnson is challenging U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger for the GOP nomination in a newly redrawn 9th district. If he makes it to Congress, the 37-year-old insurance broker based in Unionville said he’ll show the kind of backbone that’s missing in Washington.
“I’m not a go-along-to-get-along kind of guy,” he said. “It’s pretty evident (from his time as a county commissioner) that I don’t just go with what’s popular.”
Johnson said he tried to cut red tape to help small businesses on the local level, and he’d like to do the same on the federal level, cutting regulations that he said hobble the economy.
Unlike Pittenger and the Rev. Mark Harris, the other challenger in the race, Johnson has not run any TV ads and has no big-name endorsements. But he’s well-known in Union County, which is home to a larger percentage of the voters in the new district than any of the other six counties.
And Johnson is not shy about promoting his accomplishments: “Of the three gentlemen that are running, I am the only one who has a proven conservative record. ... And with me in Congress, you’ll not be getting the same-old, same-old.”
Education: UNC-Chapel Hill, bachelor’s in management.
Family: Wife Amanda and two sons, ages 10 and 8.
Job: Operates family business, which provides home and auto insurance.
Politics: Union County Board of Commissioners, 2010-2014; current member of State Board of Community Colleges; and chairman of 8th Congressional District Republican Party, 2015-16 (He resigned this year, when Union County became part of the 9th Congressional District.)
Worth knowing: He and his wife love to dance to beach music, have been members of the Monroe Shag Club for 16 years.