Assembly District 85 – Jeff Johnson

Who I am

A lifelong Wisconsinite, born in Superior and raised in Oshkosh, I have been living in Wausau, Wisconsin since 1993. Growing up I attended parochial school and had instilled in me a strong sense of social justice and the need to work towards a more fair and inclusive society. As the 7th of 9 children my family did not have a lot of money so if we wanted something extra we had to be creative and work for it. I started working as soon as I was able to wield a snow shovel and push a lawnmower and have been working ever since. I have worked in almost every sector of the economy during my life and have seen the increasing struggle of many coworkers as the years ticked by. I attended OW-Oshkosh but left to join the Air Force prior to completing my degree. I served in the Air Force from 1980-1984 as a telecommunications troubleshooter. Upon leaving the military I met and married my wife Jane and we will celebrate our 36th anniversary this December. In 1986 I began my career with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections as a correctional officer. In 1992 I was promoted to Probation & Parole Agent and shortly after became active in the local union. My union activity continued and grew to the point that I was the chief steward of the state’s largest local, and its vice president. I also served as secretary of the parent union, AFSCME Council 24 and chairman of the State Employees Political Action Committee prior to retiring in 2011. My union activity led me to become deeply involved with state politics and after retirement I was elected as chair of the Marathon County Democratic Party. This was a tumultuous time as Act 10 was enacted and the recall process initiated. from retirement through t he 2012 elections I worked 12-16 hour days as the chair of the local party (unpaid) and dug quite a deep financial hole. After the 2012 election cycle I stepped away from politics for about 5 years and then ran for and was elected to the Marathon County Board of Supervisors, beating an ultra conservative incumbent in a district that votes 60%+ republican. In 2020 I retained the seat against the same opponent.

Why I am Running

Wisconsin state government used to be paragon of openness and integrity. Starting in 2011 when republicans took control I have seen the implementation of the republican party’s agenda and it has been a disaster for the residents of the state. There is no interest from the republicans in doing the work to help the resident of Wisconsin live better lives and their actions have been a destructive force that prior to 2010 had never been seen. There is no cooperation from the republicans and very little concern from them for anyone other than themselves and their donors. Quite frankly they are bad at actually running a government. In order to restore this great state’s tradition of open and transparent government we neem to change the make up of the legislature. Whenever possible we need to reclaim seats wherever we can. The 85th is a winnable district especially this year. Our current representative has been a rubber stamp for Robin Vos. There is zero chance that the current leadership will work in a bipartisan fashion to serve the people.

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