Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 1992, 12th term.

Born: December 3, 1935, Waco, TX

Home: Dallas, TX

Education: St. Mary's at Notre Dame, B.A. 1955, TX Christian U., B.S. 1967, S. Methodist U., M.P.A. 1976

Professional Career: Registered nurse; Regional dir., U.S. Dept. of HEW, 1977–80; Mgmt. consultant, Sammons Corp., 1979–81; Owner, Eddie Bernice Johnson & Assoc.

Ethnicity: Black/African American

Religion: Baptist

Family: Divorced , 1 child; 3 grandchildren

Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Democrat first elected in 1992, is a revered figure in Dallas politics, having spent four decades advocating for the city. Some of her younger rivals and The Dallas Morning News’ editorial page have suggested it’s time for her to step aside, but she remains a potent political force.

Johnson grew up in Texas, graduated from Texas Christian University with a nursing degree, and later got a master’s degree in public administration at Southern Methodist University. She worked at St. Paul Hospital and was the chief psychiatric nurse at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Dallas. She told The Morning News in 1987 that she first got interested in politics in the early 1960s, when she went to buy a new hat and was shocked to learn that blacks in the city weren’t allowed to try on such headgear. She organized a boycott of the store. In 1972, she was elected to the Texas House, the first black woman elected to the legislature from Dallas. She became a regional director of the old Health, Education and Welfare Department under Democratic President Jimmy Carter. She was elected to the Texas Senate in 1986. As the Senate’s Redistricting Committee chairman in 1991, she was instrumental in creating the new 30th District, and she went on to win the Democratic primary with 92% of the vote.

In the House, Johnson—known by her initials “EBJ”—has a mostly liberal voting record. A former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, she was more supportive of President Barack Obama in 2009 than other caucus members critical of his efforts for low-income and unemployed blacks. She has been attentive to business interests in Dallas, though her lifetime voting score from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is among the Texas House delegation’s lowest. Johnson once pledged to labor unions to oppose the North American Free Trade Agreement, but she changed her mind and voted for it in 1993. Dallas probably exports more to Mexico than any other American city, and many jobs depend on those exports. Johnson also sided with business on normalizing trade relations with China.

Johnson became the ranking Democrat on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee in 2011. She has joined others in her party in lambasting Republican cuts in science funding while seeking to encourage more students to enter science- and technology-related fields. She shared credit for passing the Networking and Information Research and Development Act to double funding for information research. As a health-care professional, she takes an interest in minority health issues. In 2015, she and New York GOP Rep. Peter King reintroduced their bill to have a federal National Nurse for Public Health work alongside the surgeon general.

On the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Johnson has worked to secure funds for construction of the Interstate 30 suspension bridge over the Trinity River that opened in 2012, and she continues to support Trinity River projects. The $2.5 billion Trinity River Corridor project, in the works for decades and including three new suspension bridges, is moving toward reality. She also has sought to address the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s mass transit needs to alleviate traffic congestion.

Johnson generally has sailed to reelection. But in the months before the 2010 election, the Morning News reported that she had awarded college scholarships to four relatives and the two children of a top aide who otherwise would have been ineligible under the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s guidelines. Johnson said she had not been familiar with the rules and agreed to repay the foundation. But the scandal provided an opening for her Republican challenger, minister Stephen Broden. The newspaper endorsed Broden and rebuked Johnson for being among the South Dallas leaders “who treat their districts as if they were their fiefdoms.” But whatever chance Broden may have had for an upset vanished a few weeks later, when he told a television interviewer that an armed overthrow of the federal government is “on the table.” Johnson chalked up another landslide, 76%-22%.

Two years later, Johnson faced two young Democratic challengers in attorney Taj Clayton and state Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway, who avoided criticizing Johnson directly but made clear their belief that the district needed fresh representation. The Morning News endorsed Clayton this time, saying Johnson “once had what it takes, but now it’s time for new leadership.” But the normally even-keeled Johnson ripped into both of her opponents, calling Clayton a stooge for Republicans. She won the primary with ease, reaping 70% to Caraway’s 18% and Clayton’s 12%, and coasted to another reelection. In a primary rematch in 2014 with just Caraway, Johnson again took 70% before taking 88% against Libertarian and independent candidates.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-8885

(202) 226-1477

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2468
Washington, DC 20515-4330

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-8885

(202) 226-1477

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2468
Washington, DC 20515-4330

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-8885

(202) 226-1477

3102 Maple Avenue Suite 600
Dallas, TX 75201-1236

DISTRICT OFFICE

(214) 922-8885

(214) 922-7028

3102 Maple Avenue Suite 600
Dallas, TX 75201-1236

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(202) 225-8885

(202) 226-1477

3102 Maple Avenue Suite 605
Dallas, TX 75201

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

3102 Maple Avenue Suite 605
Dallas, TX 75201

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Staff

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Abortion

Carrie Swope
Senior Legislative Assistant

Aerospace

Carrie Swope
Senior Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Carrie Swope
Senior Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Murat Gokcigdem
Chief of Staff

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Arts

Carrie Swope
Senior Legislative Assistant

Nawaid Ladak
Legislative Aide; Special Assistant

Banking

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Budget

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Campaign

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Commerce

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Crime

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Disability

Nawaid Ladak
Legislative Aide; Special Assistant

Economics

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Education

Carrie Swope
Senior Legislative Assistant

Family

Carrie Swope
Senior Legislative Assistant

Finance

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Carrie Swope
Senior Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Gun Issues

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Carrie Swope
Senior Legislative Assistant

Health

Carrie Swope
Senior Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Housing

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Human Rights

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Carrie Swope
Senior Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Labor

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Medicare

Carrie Swope
Senior Legislative Assistant

Military

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Minorities

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Native Americans

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Small Business

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Carrie Swope
Senior Legislative Assistant

Tax

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Trade

Carrie Swope
Senior Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Justin Maturo
Senior Legislative Assistant

Welfare

Carrie Swope
Senior Legislative Assistant

Women

Carrie Swope
Senior Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2014 GENERAL
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Votes: 92,971
Percent: 87.94%
Max Koch
Votes: 7,149
Percent: 6.76%
Eric Williams
Votes: 5,596
Percent: 5.29%
2012 GENERAL
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Votes: 171,059
Percent: 78.82%
Travis Washington
Votes: 41,222
Percent: 19.0%
2012 PRIMARY
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Votes: 23,346
Percent: 70.06%
Barbara Caraway
Votes: 5,996
Percent: 17.99%
Taj Clayton
Votes: 3,981
Percent: 11.95%
2010 GENERAL
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Votes: 86,322
Percent: 75.74%
Stephen Broden
Votes: 24,668
Percent: 21.64%
2010 PRIMARY
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Votes: 23,725
Percent: 100.0%
2008 GENERAL
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Votes: 168,249
Percent: 82.48%
Fred Wood
Votes: 32,361
Percent: 15.87%
2008 PRIMARY
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Votes: 90,425
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (76%), 2008 (82%), 2006 (80%), 2004 (93%), 2002 (74%), 2000 (92%), 1998 (72%), 1996 (55%), 1994 (73%), 1992 (72%)

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