When Tim Johnson was a freshman in high school, he had the opportunity to serve as a Page in the Kansas legislature for Senator Robert Steineger. Fascinated by what he saw, he pursued an undergraduate degree in political science. After graduation, Johnson began a career in law enforcement where he served for 31 years. He is currently a social studies teacher at Basehor-Linwood High School.
It was during his teaching career that he met Willie Dove, who represented the 38th District at that time. Dove was a guest lecturer during his classes and sponsored several field trips to the Legislature where the students had the opportunity to meet state officials. Johnson could tell that Dove was passionate about helping kids as well as enhancing their learning process. It was an ideal they both shared.
Later, Dove invited Johnson and some of the BLHS championship powerlifters to the Statehouse to receive an award. Dove introduced a formal resolution honoring the powerlifters for achieving their national record of state powerlifting championship.
“The day we stood before the whole House and received a standing ovation from the legislators is etched in my brain,” said Johnson. “I told Willie later that when he was ready to move on, I wanted to be part of the legislature.”
Several weeks ago, Dove showed up at Johnson’s front door and asked Johnson if he was ready to run. The answer was yes, and Johnson quickly announced his candidacy for the 38th District Representative. That district includes Basehor, DeSoto, and rural Leavenworth County. Dove is running for the 3rd district Senate seat.
Running as a conservative Republican, Johnson has already made an impact on Basehor, where he has lived for over 15 years. He understands the social and economic desires of the people living in the 38th District and he strongly opposed the annexation/enterprise zone take-over by the City of Basehor of rural areas surrounding the city. Johnson believes that residents living around Basehor are being forcibly controlled by elected officials in Basehor yet do not have the opportunity to vote on the matter.
“It may be legal, but it isn’t moral. If I remember my history lesson from class, folks in America do not take well to taxation without representation. If elected, I will introduce legislation to protect those not in the City of Basehor from this governmental overreach,” he said.
Named Kansas teacher of the year in 2014, Johnson recognizes that children are the most valuable resource of the future and he looks forward to serving as their voice as a member of the legislature. He said that his first priority will be to work for issues relating to children and correcting the Kansas adoption and foster care laws. Supporting education and ensuring the funding and development of positive educational policies also ranks at the top of his list. He recognizes the success of the Joy Meadows foster care program in southern Leavenworth County as a model of how foster care should be in the future.
“My law enforcement career included administrative opportunities which helps me understand management of government functions,” Johnson said. “My experience in child abuse issues and now in my teaching career gives me special understanding of critical issues such as right to life, adoption, and foster care.”
Johnson and his wife Linda have been married for 38 years and have five children and eight grandchildren including four grandchildren who attend Basehor-Linwood schools.