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Samuel Robert "Sam" Johnson (born October 11, 1930) is an American politician and a retired career U.S. Air Force officer and fighter pilot. He currently is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 3rd District of Texasmarker ( map). The district includes much of northeastern Dallasmarker, as well as Planomarker, where he lives.


Johnson grew up in Dallas and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High Schoolmarker and Southern Methodist Universitymarker. He served a 29-year career in the United States Air Force, where he served as director of the Air Force Fighter Weapons School and flew the F-100 Super Sabre with the Air Force Thunderbirds precision flying demonstration team. He commanded the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing at Homestead AFBmarker, Florida and an air division at Holloman AFBmarker, New Mexico, retiring as a Colonel.

He is a veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam Wars as a fighter pilot. During the Korean War, he flew 62 combat missions in the F-86 Sabre. During the Vietnam War, Johnson flew the F-4 Phantom II.

In 1966, while flying his 25th combat mission in Vietnammarker, he was shot down over North Vietnam. He was a prisoner of war for seven years, including 42 months in solitary confinement. During this period, he was repeatedly tortured.

Johnson recounted the details of his POW experience in his autobiography, Captive Warriors.

A decorated war hero, Johnson was awarded two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, one Bronze Star with Combat "V" for Valor, two Purple Hearts, four Air Medals, and three Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards. He was also retroactively awarded the Prisoner of War Medal following its establishment in 1985. He walks with a noticeable limp, due to an old war injury.

After his military career, he established a homebuilding business and served in the Texas State Legislature. On May 8, 1991, he was elected to the House in a special election caused by eight-year incumbent Steve Bartlett's resignation to become mayor of Dallas. He won a full term in 1992 and has been reelected seven times. He has never faced substantive opposition in what is arguably the most Republican district in the Metroplex; the 3rd has been in Republican hands since 1968. In fact, the Democrats did not even field a candidate in 1992, 1994, 1998 or 2004.

Johnson is married to the former Shirley L. Melton, of Dallas. They are parents of three children and ten grandchildren.

Congressman Johnson serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, a non-denominational, Christian organization established by Bill Gothard for the purpose of resolving youth and family conflicts. In October 2009, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society rewarded Johnson the National Patriot Award, the Society's highest civilian award given to Americans who exemplify patriotism and strive to better the nation.

Political positions

In the House, Johnson is an ardent conservative. By some views, Johnson had the most conservative record in the House for three consecutive years, opposing pork barrel projects of all kinds, voting for more IRAs and against extending unemployment benefits. The conservative watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste has consistently rated him as being friendly to taxpayers.

Johnson is a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee, and was one of three Republicans who refounded it in 1994 after Newt Gingrich pulled its funding.

On the Ways and Means Committee, he was an early advocate and, then, sponsor of the successful repeal in 2000 of the earnings limit for Social Security recipients. He proposed the Good Samaritan Tax Act to permit corporations to take a tax deduction for charitable giving of food. He chairs the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, where he has encouraged small business owners to expand their pensionand benefits for employees.

Johnson is a skeptic of calls for increased government regulation related to global warming whenever such government interference would, in his mind, restrict personal liberties or damage economic growth and American competitiveness in the market place. He also opposes calls for government intervention in the name of energy reform if such reform would hamper the market and or place undue burdens on individuals seeking to earn decent wages. He has expressed his belief that the Earth has untapped sources of fuel, and has called for allowing additional drilling for oil in Alaska.

Committee assignments

2004 campaign

Johnson ran unopposed by the Democratic Party in his district in the 2004 election. Paul Jenkins, an independent, and James Vessels, a member of the Libertarian Party ran against Johnson. Johnson won overwhelmingly in a highly Republican district. Johnson garnered 86% of the vote (178,099), while Jenkins earned 8% (16,850) and Vessels 6% (13,204).

2006 campaign

Johnson ran for re-election in 2006, defeating his Republican opponent Robert Edward Johnson in the Republican primary, 85% to 15%. [67760] [67761]

In the general election, Johnson faced Democrat Dan Dodd and Libertarian Christopher J. Claytor. Both Dodd and Claytor are West Pointmarker graduates. Dodd served two tours of duty in Vietnam [67762] and Claytor served in Operation Southern Watch in Kuwait in 1992. [67763] It was only the fourth time that Johnson had faced Democratic opposition.

Johnson retained his seat in a decisive victory, taking 62.5% of the vote, while Democrat Dodd received 34.9% and Libertarian Claytor received 2.6%. However, this was far less than in years past, when Johnson won by margins of 80 percent or more.

2008 campaign

Johnson retained his seat in the House of Representatives by defeating Democratic nominee Tom Daley and Libertarian nominee Christopehr J. Claytor in the 2008 general election. He won with 59.74% of the vote. [67764]

See also


  1. U.S. Congress. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Sam Johnson

External links

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