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Tim Johnson (Illinois politician)

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Timothy Vincent Johnson (born July 23, 1946) was the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 15th congressional district, serving from 2001 to 2013. He is a member of the Republican Party and did not run for re-election in 2012.

Timothy V. Johnson
Timothy V Johnson Portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 15th district
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byTom Ewing
Succeeded byRodney Davis (Redistricting)
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1946-07-23) July 23, 1946 (age 73)
Champaign, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceUrbana, Illinois
Alma materUniversity of Illinois (BA, JD)

Early life, education, and early political careerEdit

Johnson was born in Champaign to Robert and Margaret Evans Johnson and spent his childhood in Urbana where he graduated from Urbana High School.

He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1964[1] followed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Johnson majored in history and graduated in 1969 Phi Beta Kappa, receiving the Bronze tablet,[2] an honor given to the top 3% of undergraduates.[3] In 1972, Johnson graduated with honors from the University of Illinois College of Law and was elected to the Order of the Coif, a national legal honor society.[4][5]

Johnson greets constituents at the annual Mill Creek Lake Steak Fry, held in Edgar County, Illinois.

In 1971, Johnson was elected to the city council of Urbana, Illinois.

Illinois House of RepresentativesEdit

In 1976, Johnson was elected to serve as a representative in Springfield, after besting five other Republican candidates in the 1976 Republican primary.[4] Johnson remained a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1976 to 2000.[6]

While running for re-election in 1980, a photograph was published showing Johnson had rigged a paper clip so that in his absence he would vote "yes" during any roll call; he initially denied installing it, but later said it was "accepted practice" in the legislature.[7] Twenty years later, when Johnson ran for U.S. Congress, Mike Kelleher, his Democratic rival, had the story documented on a website dedicated to the photograph and Johnson's reactions, saying "It would be funny, if it weren't so serious..."[8]

For most of his career, Johnson represented much of the more rural and conservative portion of Champaign County, along with portions of Ford and Douglas counties. After the 1990 census, Johnson was drawn into the same district as Democrat Helen F. Satterthwaite, who had long represented the other side of Urbana, as well as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. However, the new district was more Johnson's territory than Satterthwaite's; Republicans outnumbered Democrats by almost 3 to 1. It also didn't include Satterthwaite's old base at the U of I.[9] At that election, Johnson won with 60 percent of the vote.[10]

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit



In 2004, Johnson raised $533,478 in campaign funds,[11] less than half the national average for a Republican running for reelection ($1,206,138). The 2004 campaign fundraising was about a quarter of the[12] $1,943,630 raised by his initial campaign in 2000; that in turn was nearly double the amount raised by his fellow freshmen Republicans ($1,171,118).[11] Johnson defeated Democratic candidate David Gill 61% to 39% .


In his 2000 campaign, Johnson pledged not to serve more than three terms. However, he ran for re-election in 2008 and 2010. Johnson "underestimated the value of seniority," spokesman Phil Bloomer says of his boss' decision to run for a fifth term. "As a rookie going in, (he) didn't understand what he could accomplish for his district by being there a longer period."[13]

In the 2006 election in November, Johnson again faced Democrat David Gill.

At the end of June 2006, Johnson had over $130,000 available for spending for his 2006 campaign, more than double the total amount raised by his opponent at that point. In the 2006 midterm elections, he was reelected by a slightly narrower 58-42% margin.[14]


Johnson received 64.19% of his district's votes, defeating Democratic nominee Steve Cox.


Johnson defeated Democratic nominee David Gill.


Due to congressional apportionment following the 2010 Census, Johnson ran in the Republican primary to represent Illinois's 13th congressional district for the 2012 elections.[15] That new district "juts southwest nearly to St. Louis" and includes only about 30 percent of the district he had previously represented.[15]

On March 14, 2012, Johnson endorsed Texas Congressman Ron Paul for the 2012 Republican primary in Illinois.[16]

On April 5, 2012, Johnson announced his retirement from office, to the surprise of many.[17]


Outside of meetings, committee hearings, and votes, Johnson has been said to spend "nearly every waking minute" cold-calling his constituents; the practice amounts to calls to "more than a half-million constituents" during his first six terms in office.[15]

In the House, Johnson's voting record has been the most moderate among Illinois Republicans outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. In 2010, American Conservative Union gave him its second-lowest rating among Illinois Republicans,[citation needed] behind only Mark Steven Kirk of the 10th District. However, he is a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee.

For each of the 107th, 108th, 109th, and 110th Congresses Johnson received a score of 0% from the Human Rights Campaign. This was for, among other things, voting against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have prohibited discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation, and for refusing to adopt a written policy for his own office pledging not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in employment decisions.[18] Meanwhile, the Family Research Council, a conservative watchdog, in its most recent scorecard gives Johnson a 100%.[19]

From 2003 through 2005, $14.7 billion in crop subsidies went to the congressional districts of members on the House Committee on Agriculture, an analysis by the non-partisan Environmental Working Group found. That was 42.4% of the total subsidies. Johnson is reported to have brought $716 million to his District.[23]

Committee assignmentsEdit

Caucus membershipsEdit

Personal lifeEdit

Johnson has nine children and ten grandchildren.[4] He was an attorney and senior partner at Johnson, Frank, Frederick and Walsh from 1972 to 2001.[1]

Awards and honorsEdit

Johnson was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 2013 in the area of Communications.[24]

Post congressional careerEdit

In 2015, Johnson was elected to the Parkland College Board of Trustees.[25]

As of November 2015, Johnson was petitioning to become a delegate for Senator Marco Rubio's Presidential campaign.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Project Vote Smart. Representative Timothy V. Johnson Archived 2006-10-13 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved October 17, 2006.
  2. ^ University of Illinois. Recipients of the Bronze tablet, 1960s Archived 2006-11-14 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ University of Illinois. Bronze tablet Archived 2007-02-09 at the Wayback Machine background information
  4. ^ a b c 15th Congressional District of Illinois. Biography Archived 2006-10-28 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved October 17, 2006.
  5. ^ Associated Press election coverage. Last updated: October 16, 2006.
  6. ^ United States Congress. "Timothy V. Johnson (id: j000285)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
  7. ^ Political Briefing; Tale of a Paper Clip Haunts a Candidate, a July 16, 2000 article from The New York Times
  8. ^ "The Proof: It would be funny, if it weren't so serious..." Kelleher for Congress. 2000. Archived from the original on 2000-10-19. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
  9. ^ Steinbacher-Kemp, Bill (October 1992). "Legislative Action: Republicans push for majority in Senate, House". Illinois Issues. Sangamon State University. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b "The price of admission". Center for Responsive Politics. Archived from the original on 2006-06-01. Retrieved 2006-08-11.
  12. ^ "Total raised and spent, 2000 race, Illinois district 15". Center for Responsive Politics. Archived from the original on 2006-11-20. Retrieved 2006-08-11.
  13. ^ Andrea Stone (2006-04-12). "Term-limit pledges get left behind". USA Today. Retrieved 2006-08-11.
  14. ^ "Elections 2006". Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  15. ^ a b c "Rep. Timothy Johnson's Expensive Phone Bill". Roll Call. November 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
  16. ^ "US Rep., Presidential Candidate Ron Paul Visits UI Campus". Illinois Public Media. March 15, 2012.
  17. ^ Kleefeld, Eric (April 4, 2012). "Report: GOP Rep. Tim Johnson To Retire Suddenly In Illinois". Talking Points Memo. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012.
  18. ^ Human Rights Campaign. "Congressional scorecard (2002 - present)". Archived from the original on 2009-11-19. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  19. ^ Family Research Council. "Vote Scorecard for the Full Session of the 110th Congress". Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  20. ^ "Final vote results for roll call 204". Retrieved 2006-08-12.
  21. ^ FISA Amendments Act of 2008. Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Accessed April 8, 2012.
  22. ^ Sanchez, Julian (2008-06-21). "Congress pats itself on back as it caves on telecom immunity". Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  23. ^ Dilanian, Ken, " Billions go to House panel members' districts", USA Today. July 26, 2007.
  24. ^ "Laureates by Year - The Lincoln Academy of Illinois". The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  25. ^

External linksEdit