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Democrat

Rep. Hank Johnson (D)

Hank Johnson Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-1605

Address: 2240 RHOB, DC 20515

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (770) 987-2291

Address: 5700 Hillandale Drive, Lithonia GA 30058-4104

Conyers GA

Phone: (770) 987-2291

Fax: (770) 987-8721

Address: 1184 Scott Street, Conyers GA 30012

Hank Johnson Staff
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Hank Johnson Committees
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Hank Johnson Biography
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  • Elected: 2006, 4th term.
  • District: Georgia 4
  • Born: Oct. 02, 1954, Washington, D.C.
  • Home: Lithonia
  • Education:

    Clark Atlanta U., B.A. 1976, Texas S. U., J.D. 1979

  • Professional Career:

    Practicing atty., 1980-2006; Associate judge, DeKalb Cnty. Magistrate Court, 1989-2006.

  • Political Career:

    DeKalb Cnty. comm., 2001-06.

  • Ethnicity: Black/African American
  • Religion:

    Buddhist

  • Family: Married (Mereda Davis); 2 children

Hank Johnson, a Democrat who won the seat in 2006, has a solidly liberal voting record and a reputation as a thoughtful lawmaker, although he is prone to embarrassing verbal gaffes. Read More

Hank Johnson, a Democrat who won the seat in 2006, has a solidly liberal voting record and a reputation as a thoughtful lawmaker, although he is prone to embarrassing verbal gaffes.

Johnson was born in Washington, D.C., where his father was director of classifications and paroles for the Bureau of Prisons and his mother was a schoolteacher. He practiced law as a civil and criminal litigator and served 12 years as a magistrate judge in DeKalb County and then five years on the DeKalb County Commission. He resigned from the commission to run for Congress. Although his immediate family members are Presbyterians, he has been a Buddhist since the 1970s; he and Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, are the first practicing Buddhists in Congress. “If you could say what drives me, it’s the middle ground, the middle way,” he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2009, invoking a Buddhist principle.

In 2006, Johnson ousted Democratic Rep. Cynthia McKinney in the primary. McKinney was a controversial incumbent, once suggesting that President George W. Bush might have had prior knowledge of the September 11 terrorist attacks but did not act on it because a war on terrorism would boost defense stocks held by his father’s friends. Her own party lost patience with her after she struck a Capitol police officer who had stopped her at a security checkpoint.

In the July 18 primary, McKinney led Johnson, 47%-44%, but her failure to break the 50% threshold in the three-candidate field forced a runoff. Johnson gained additional momentum after the primary. His fundraising suddenly picked up, as donors, including former Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes, weighed in against McKinney. She responded by criticizing Johnson’s past financial troubles, which included declaring bankruptcy in the late 1980s. But in the runoff, turnout was up and Johnson beat McKinney easily, 59%-41%. He then breezed to victory in the general election against minor opposition.

In the House, Johnson has made several eyebrow-raising statements that have landed him atop liberal as well as conservative blogs. After South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson shouted, “You lie!” at President Barack Obama during a 2009 address to Congress, Johnson suggested that if the House took no disciplinary action against Wilson, “We’ll have folks putting on white hoods and white uniforms again.” In December 2012, Johnson gave a speech attacking Michigan’s new right-to-work law and said, “What happens when you put, in a cage fight, a giant in with a midget? Well, the midget will not win the fight, I am going to tell you that.” He subsequently apologized for using the “m-word,” which he acknowledged is “no longer socially acceptable.”

On the Judiciary Committee, Johnson in November 2012 said a Republican bill to change the visa program raised the “ugly head of racism,” contending the legislation would have the effect of shutting out various racial groups from access to U.S. visas. To improve election accountability, he introduced a bill in August 2012 requiring cities and towns using electronic voting machines to deposit the software or source code with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In November 2011, he unsuccessfully tried to add an amendment to GOP gun legislation requiring that people carrying concealed handguns get firearm safety training. Earlier, he backed relief for people facing housing foreclosures and sought protections against predatory lending.

On the Armed Services Committee, Johnson has worked to prevent military suicides. In June 2012, he criticized a Republican provision in the fiscal 2013 defense bill directing the Obama administration to consider basing tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea to counter North Korea, a measure Johnson dubbed the “Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb provision.” Administration officials firmly rejected the GOP’s idea.

Johnson won reelection in 2008 without major party opposition. McKinney considered a rematch with Johnson but then decided to run for president as the nominee of the Green Party. In 2009, Johnson announced that he had battled hepatitis C, an incurable blood-borne liver disease, for more than a decade. Two Democrats lined up to challenge him in the 2010 primary, and one of them, former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones, openly questioned his missing a series of debates. Johnson, however, insisted his health was fine and unveiled an endorsement from Obama, who said the congressman “has done an outstanding job.” He won the July primary with 55% to Jones’ 26% and former DeKalb County Commissioner Connie Stokes’ 18%, and he easily won the general election.

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Hank Johnson Election Results
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2012 General
Hank Johnson (D)
Votes: 208,861
Percent: 73.57%
J. Chris Vaughn (R)
Votes: 75,041
Percent: 26.43%
2012 Primary
Hank Johnson (D)
Votes: 52,982
Percent: 76.96%
Courtney Dillard (D)
Votes: 13,130
Percent: 19.07%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (75%), 2008 (100%), 2006 (75%)
Hank Johnson Votes and Bills
Back to top NJ Vote Ratings

National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 76 (L) : 22 (C) 89 (L) : - (C) 89 (L) : 10 (C)
Social 60 (L) : 39 (C) 85 (L) : - (C) 80 (L) : - (C)
Foreign 69 (L) : 31 (C) 80 (L) : 20 (C) 69 (L) : 30 (C)
Composite 68.8 (L) : 31.2 (C) 89.0 (L) : 11.0 (C) 83.0 (L) : 17.0 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC100
LCV9491
CFG312
ITIC-50
NTU810
20112012
COC25-
ACLU-92
ACU04
ADA9095
AFSCME100-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
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