Maconite Wayne Johnson runs for Sanford Bishop district
Johnson is no stranger to Washington DC. He served as a senior official in the Department of Education during the Trump administration.
MACON, Ga. — Longtime Congressman Sanford Bishop has a competition for Congressional District 2.
At least five Republicans say they are running for his seat. One is the Masonite Wayne Johnson.
Johnson has spent more than 30 years as an entrepreneur and CEO of several national and international companies in the consumer credit and customer service industries.
But from 2017 he dabbled in politics, serving as a senior official in the Trump administration’s Department of Education.
Johnson calls himself a “compassionate Republican” who has a “graceful tenacity” to do what he says is right in Washington and what’s best for the 2 Congressional District.
“If you sum it up in a few words, I want to stop the stupidity happening in DC,” Johnson said.
Johnson is no stranger to Washington D.C. He served as director of strategy and transformation and chief operating officer at the Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Assistance during the Trump administration.
“I was responsible for $1.6 trillion of taxpayers’ money and 44 million customers, and you know that situation in terms of paying out about $120 billion a year in new money,” Johnson said.
Johnson resigned in 2019, calling the student loan system “broken”.
“The student loan program is currently, in form, a flawed system. It was an inappropriate experience for the federal government to be in the direct lending business,” Johnson said in October 2019. “We need to move from forward and wipe the slate clean when it comes to the amount of federal borrowing outstanding.”
Johnson says that in DC he discovered that many politicians are “a mile wide and an inch deep,” meaning they don’t get to the heart of the issues and fix them. He says the same goes for his opponent Sanford Bishop.
“Sanford is in a comfort zone,” Johnson said.
Johnson says that over the past few months he has traveled to 30 counties, hearing about major issues from voters. He says one of them is access to health care in rural areas.
“I served as a Medical Service Corps officer in the United States Army and ran a medical aid station for Eskimo Boy Scouts in Alaska, and I’ll tell you, Eskimo Boy Scouts in Alaska have a better access to frontline medical care than what we see here in Georgia,” Johnson said. He says that ultimately the state needs more health care providers.
Johnson said he also heard from farmers saying they needed more labor, but also water. Several southwestern counties have moratoriums on well drilling.
“One of the ideas I’ve come up with is how we can actually bring in federal funds to help farmers dig deep water wells and get the water they need,” Johnson said.
He also wants to dig into the root causes of law enforcement’s struggle to employ and retain officers.
“You know, 30-year-old veterans making less than $20 an hour and putting their lives on the line. I have an idea for a program to have this VA reserve force for Homeland Security and maybe bring in a extra pay to these people,” Johnson said.
It’s important to note that the man who ran against Sanford Bishop in the last election, Don Cole, is now Wayne Johnson’s campaign manager.
Cole thinks Republicans have a chance to switch seats after this session’s redistricting.
The district moved north into Muscogee County, lower into Houston County, and also into Thomas County. These changes have changed the playing field for Republicans, Cole says.
“It’s winnable now,” Cole said.
“To win I’m going to need every Republican vote, I’m also going to have to have Democratic votes to win,” Cole said.
The primary election is scheduled for May 24.
If you need to register to vote, it must be done before April 25.
13WMAZ plans to highlight each of the Congressional District 2 candidates through May.