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Lance Johnson announces run for governor

Aug 18, 2017 08:08AM ● Published by Editor

Lance Johnson announces run for governor

Brian Larsen 

Standing in the middle of the back row wearing a dark sweater, Lance Johnson announced to his fellow high school classmates that he was throwing his hat into the governor’s race. Johnson made his announcement in Zumbrota at his 60th high school class reunion. Photo courtesy of Lance Johnson.

By Brian Larsen - The Cook County News Herald - August 18, 2017

He said he had been thinking seriously about throwing his hat in the ring for the governor’s race for nine months, and at his 60th high school class reunion held July 22 in Zumbrota, Lance Johnson formally announced his intentions to run for governor as a Republican.

Johnson, an attorney who splits his time between Lutsen and Woodbury, has worked previously in state government. He was in charge of the state commerce department under Gov. Harold LeVander for a couple of years in the 1960s. Johnson worked in the attorney general’s office under Minnesota Attorney General Douglas Head.

“I’m starting out slow. I have a few speaking engagements, but I plan to ramp up my campaign. I’m fully committed to this. I’m cutting my own swath, as they say.”

Johnson said he favors smaller government and is staunchly against regressive taxes, “which are taking more and more of your revenue. These hidden taxes (gasoline, alcohol, fuel oil, etc.) hurt the working poor the most. The government is taking money from people who need it the most. I feel sorry for people living on lower incomes that are faced with these regressive taxes.”

Johnson proclaimed that Minnesota is one of 13 states that tax Social Security. “That to me isn’t right. That should stop. That should stop now.” 

He is in favor of stronger laws to punish those that commit rape or commit sexual molestation of children or vulnerable adults. “I have read about a case where someone was sentenced to 100 days for raping a five-year-old child. Another instance involved an elderly lady being violated in a nursing home. That criminal was sentenced to two years. We need stronger sentencing guidelines for crimes like these.”

As he has gotten older Johnson admits, “My body has slowed, but my mind is active. I am very goal oriented.” 

Two factors favor his candidacy, believes Johnson. “One, I don’t currently hold office and two, I have never held office. I believe that gives me an advantage in the race.”

That strategy worked for Minnesota Senator Al Franken. Maybe it will work for Lance Johnson. 

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