Timothy V. Johnson

This article is about the Representative from Illinois. For the Senator from South Dakota, see Tim Johnson (U.S. Senator). For other names, see Timothy Johnson (disambiguation).
Timothy V. Johnson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 15th district
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Tom Ewing
Succeeded by John Shimkus
Personal details
Born (1946-07-23) July 23, 1946 (age 68)
Champaign, Illinois
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) divorced
Residence Urbana, Illinois
Alma mater University of Illinois
Occupation attorney
Religion Assembly of God

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

Early life, education, and early political career

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]

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

Illinois House of Representatives

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]

U.S. House of Representatives



In 2004, Johnson raised $533,478 in campaign funds,[9] 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[10] $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).[9] 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."[11]

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.[12]


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.[13] That new district "juts southwest nearly to St. Louis" and includes only about 30 percent of the district he had previously represented.[13]

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

On April 5, 2012, Johnson announced his retirement from office, to the surprise of many.[15]


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.[13]

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, 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.[16] Meanwhile the Family Research Council, a conservative watchdog, in its most recent scorecard gives Johnson a 100%.[17]

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.[21]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

  • Congressional Central Aisle Caucus (Co-founder)
  • Congressional Fire Services Caucus
  • Congressional Internet Caucus
  • Congressional Rural Caucus
  • International Conservation Caucus
  • Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth

Personal life

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]


External links

  • U.S. Congressman Timothy V. Johnson official U.S. House site
  • Friends of Congressman Timothy V. Johnson official campaign site
  • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Ballotpedia
  • Project Vote Smart
  • GovTrack
  • OpenCongress
  • Federal Election Commission
  • OpenSecrets.org
  • Financial information (state office) at the National Institute for Money in State Politics
  • On the Issues
  • The Washington Post
  • C-SPAN programs
  • The Washington Post
  • SourceWatch
Preceded by
Thomas W. Ewing
U.S. Representative of Illinois's 15th Congressional District
Succeeded by
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Darrell Issa
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
James Langevin
D-Rhode Island
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