The Audacity of Michael Johnson*

You may not know anything about John Lewis’s primary opponent. Very few do. Until last year he was a Fulton County Superior Court Judge making $151,000 per year. Then he quit in order to challenge Lewis, the Democratic incumbent.

John Lewis has the ear of President Obama, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last year and this year received honorary degrees from Brown and Harvard, and he is the Senior Deputy Whip. He has raised about $1,000,000 in the last cycle.

Michael Johnson has raised $126,000. So he cannot buy TV, and can afford maybe a couple mailings to super voters, who surely will vote for Lewis anyway, so around 7:05 tonight the race will be called for John Lewis with approximately 75% of the vote.

Feel free to speculate in the comments about why he would run for the seat, surely the other two-first name Congressman would be easier to beat.

*a reference to the last time someone ran an ill-advised race against John Lewis.


  1. James says:

    This is definitely disappointing. Judge Johnson is actually a pretty smart guy, and John Lewis has been long in the tooth for at least a decade. Some speculate that Johnson is getting his name out there for another run in a few years, but this strikes me as a pretty stupid strategy–being known as “that guy who did nothing and got destroyed by an elderly John Lewis” can’t be good for a future campaign.

    That said, I voted for Judge Johnson.

  2. CobbGOPer says:

    Sadly, the only way John Lewis (and Charlie Rangel, and Sandy Levin, and Phil Gingrey, and Nancy Pelosi, and all these other over-70 geriatrics on the Hill) is leaving Congress will be the same way Strom Thurmond and Robert Byrd and Ted Kennedy left. Way past his prime, and not breathing. Sad when it’s all they’ve got left…

  3. Blog Goliard says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

    Voters overwhelmingly say that they hate Congress and professional politicians and all their pomps and works.

    We’ll know they’re finally serious–and/or have finally scraped together enough functioning synapses to understand cause and effect–when name recognition becomes a *bad* thing.

  4. Dash Riptide says:

    Johnson’s angle was that Lewis is out of touch, based in part on his initial support for Hillary Clinton four years ago. He’s not necessarily wrong about the need for a changing of the guard, but he can only defeat Lewis by having voters affirmatively reject him. Lewis will never screw up in such a major way that his district rejects him. Putting a bona fide risked-his-life civil rights hero out of a job just seems harsh. That’s the bottom line. And when the seat finally does come open Johnson will have to deal with a crowded field united with disdain for him because he dared challenge Lewis in 2012. Fortune tends not to favor the bold.

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