(RepublicanView.org) – East Ohio Rep. Bill Johnson is not seeking re-election to Congress after accepting a job to serve as President of Youngstown State University (YSU). The Republican posted on X that he had not actively sought a new role and that his decision to leave the House of Representatives was very difficult.
Mr. Johnson promised, however, that he would continue to fight for Ohioans until his departure, including helping to pass tax exemption legislation “to benefit the people of East Palestine” and backing legislation to prioritize rail safety.
Johnson represents the Ohio city of East Palestine in the House, and together with Democrat Emilia Strong Sykes, he introduced the Reducing Accidents In Locomotives (RAIL) Act in March following the devastating train derailment that left East Palestine residents worried for their future.
A Norfolk Southern train derailed in the town on February 3, 2023, spilling chemicals into the air and water. Mr. Johnson’s bill demanded more safety checks on trains and required train operators to provide advance notice on the cargo they carry. It also strengthened existing legislation on wheel bearing failures.
The YSU Board of Trustees voted to hire Mr. Johnson at a meeting on November 21, saying he is “the leader we need right now.” His employment contract will last three years, and his annual salary begins at $410,000.
In a statement, Michael Peterson, chairman of the YSU trustees, described the Republican Rep. as a strong and innovative leader “who we believe will be well positioned to guide the university as we take charge of our future.”
Johnson entered Congress in 2011 and is a member of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Congressional Western Caucus, the Republican Study Committee, the Republican Main Street Partnership, the Republican Governance Group, and the Problem Solvers Caucus. Before entering politics, he co-founded an IT company called Johnson-Schley Management Group and later formed J2 Business Solutions.
A Trump supporter and social conservative, Mr. Johnson promised his political views would not impact his role at Youngstown.
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