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Ruth Johnson (born January 8, 1955[1]) is the former Secretary of State of Michigan and current member for State Senate District 14. She is a former member of the Michigan House of Representatives and the 2006 Republican candidate for lieutenant governor as the running mate of Dick DeVos.

Ruth Johnson
Ruth Johnson 2019.jpg
Member of the Michigan Senate
from the 14th district
Assumed office
January 1, 2019
Preceded byDavid B. Robertson
42nd Michigan Secretary of State
In office
January 1, 2011 – January 1, 2019
GovernorRick Snyder
Preceded byTerri Lynn Land
Succeeded byJocelyn Benson
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 46th district
In office
January 1, 1999 – December 31, 2004
Preceded byTom Middleton
Succeeded byJim Marleau
Personal details
Born (1955-01-08) January 8, 1955 (age 64)
Holly, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationOakland Community College
Oakland University (BA)
Wayne State University (MA)


Johnson, of Holly, a former public school teacher and small business owner, was clerk and register of deeds of Oakland County, a suburban area immediately north of Detroit with a population of more than one million, prior to her election as secretary of state in November 2010.[2][3] She was elected clerk of Oakland County in 2004 after defeating a long-time incumbent in the Republican primary, and was the first woman clerk in Oakland County's 176-year history. From 1988 to 1998, she was a member of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.

Johnson was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 1998, and re-elected in 2000 and 2002; term limits made her ineligible for a fourth term.

Secretary of StateEdit

As secretary of state, Johnson has made improving customer service, strengthening Michigan elections, protecting consumers and increasing the number of people on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry the top priorities of the Michigan Department of State.[4]

Johnson tripled the number of Secretary of State services available online at ExpressSOS. She also implemented MI-TIME Line, a new line management tool at some of the busiest Secretary of State offices. The service allows customers to hold their place in line electronically while they stay home or run errands.[5]

In July 2017, Ruth Johnson agreed to provide Michigan voter registration information to a federal commission created by Trump to investigate alleged illegal voting by "millions" that he says will prove he won the popular vote in the 2016 election [6] SOS Johnson has indicated she will only provide basic public voter information.[7]

In 2014, Michigan was named the best state in the nation for registering qualified U.S. citizens at state motor-vehicle offices, according to USA Today.[8] Also in 2014, the University of Michigan's Center for Local, State and Urban Policy found that the Secretary of State's Office was rated the second best state agency for job performance by community leaders.[9] That same year, the state's Mackinac Bridge license plate was named the best designed plate in the world.[10]

Because of a change Johnson made to her office's policy, the number of Michigan residents who have joined the Michigan Organ Donor Registry has increased from 27 percent to 62 percent. Johnson directed office staff to ask customers if they wanted to join the registry. During her time in office, Michigan added 2.7 million people to the donor registry.[11] Michigan is now one of the top 10 states for organ donor registration growth.

The Michigan secretary of state position is traditionally a leading advocate of traffic safety initiatives because of the office's driver licensing responsibilities, and Johnson also has led efforts to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities. As secretary, Johnson has promoted motorcycle safety initiatives, such as wearing high-visibility gear and encouraging riders to get a cycle endorsement. Johnson herself is a licensed motorcycle rider and often rides in to motorcycle-related news conferences.[12] Johnson also has pushed her departments to foster safe driving among teens. After reviewing the department's teen driver licensing program, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offered recommendations for improvement but overall gave the program high praise for combating the leading cause of death for teens in the United States.[13][14]

2014 Secretary of State electionEdit

In 2014, Johnson defeated Detroit lawyer and Democrat Godfrey Dillard, Libertarian James Lewis, US Taxpayers Robert Gale, and Natural Law Jason Gatties to earn a second term by 10.6 percentage points, receiving 1,649,047 votes to the defeated candidates 1,431,748 votes. She drew more votes than any other Republican candidate on the ballot.[15]

2010 Secretary of State electionEdit

In 2010, she won the Republican nomination for secretary of state at the party's state convention. Her opponents were Paul Scott, Michelle McManus, Anne Norlander and Cameron Brown. She went on to win the general election defeating Democrat Jocelyn Benson, Libertarian Scotty Boman, Green John Anthony La Pietra, and US Taxpayer Robert Gale.[16]

Electoral historyEdit

Michigan House of Representatives 46th District Republican Primary Election, 1998
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ruth Johnson 3,639 40.73
Republican Jeff Gallant 3,141 35.15
Republican Patricia Woods 1,885 21.10
Republican John Lauve 270 3.02
Michigan House of Representatives 46th District Election, 1998
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ruth Johnson 21,739 67.54
Democratic Roxanne La Montaine 8,571 26.63
Libertarian Mark Carney 1,876 5.83
Michigan House of Representatives 46th District Election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ruth Johnson (inc.) 29,119 64.48
Democratic Patrick Doyon 13,928 30.84
U.S. Taxpayers Sean Patrick Sullivan 2,110 4.67
Michigan House of Representatives 46th District Republican Primary Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ruth Johnson (inc.) 3,833 68.95
Republican John Lauve 1,726 31.05
Michigan House of Representatives 46th District Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ruth Johnson (inc.) 21,582 70.88
Democratic Robert Reading 8,866 29.12
Michigan Secretary of State Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ruth Johnson 1,608,270 50.68
Democratic Jocelyn Michelle Benson 1,434,796 45.22
Libertarian Scotty Boman 58,044 1.83
U.S. Taxpayers Robert Gale 41,727 1.31
Green John Anthony La Pietra 30,411 0.96
Michigan Secretary of State Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ruth Johnson (inc.) 1,649,047 53.53
Democratic Godfrey Dillard 1,323,004 42.94
Libertarian James Lewis 61,112 1.98
U.S. Taxpayers Robert Gale 34,447 1.12
Natural Law Jason Robert Gatties 13,185 0.43


  1. ^ "2013–2014 Michigan Manual" (PDF). Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Republican Ruth Johnson wins Michigan secretary of state race". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  3. ^ ""2012 Official Michigan Election Results"". Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  4. ^ "SOS – The Secretary of State". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  5. ^ "SOS – Secretary of State's "get-in-line-online" service hits major milestone". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Michigan SOS: Trump panel hasn't asked for voter data". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  7. ^ CNN, Liz Stark and Grace Hauck. "44 states won't give some voter info to panel". CNN. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Motor voter problems mean delays at polls". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "SOS – Michigan wins award for world's best new license plate". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  11. ^ "SOM – Secretary of State Ruth Johnson: Organ donor registry tops 4 million". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  12. ^
  13. ^,4670,7-127-1640_9150-333049--RSS,00.html
  14. ^
  15. ^ "2014 Michigan Official General Election Results – 11/04/2014". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-10-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit