Daniel Johnson (naval officer)

Daniel Johnson (naval officer)

Daniel H. Johnson is a former assistant district attorney in Wake County, North Carolina and a veteran of the United States Navy who received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for saving the life of a crewmate on the USS Blue Ridge in 1999. As a result of that incident, both of Johnson's legs were amputated below the knee.

In 2007, Johnson resigned as a Wake County prosecutor, moved back to his hometown of Hickory, and announced that he would run for election to the United States House of Representatives in North Carolina's 10th congressional district. He lost to incumbent Rep. Patrick McHenry on November 4, 2008.[1] In 2009, he opened a solo criminal defense practice in Raleigh.[2]


Military service

After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Johnson began his service as an officer in the United States Navy. On August 23, 1999, while serving aboard U.S.S. Blue Ridge near South Korea, Johnson risked his own life to save a fellow serviceman. Both survived, but Johnson lost both of his legs below the knee. For his bravery, Johnson received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the second highest peacetime medal for heroism.[3]

Johnson is a member of American Legion Post 48.[4]

Early career

After recovering from his injuries, Johnson worked on Capitol Hill for U.S. Senator Max Cleland of Georgia. Johnson then enrolled in law school at UNC, where he met his wife, Creecy. He began his legal career as a prosecutor in Wake County, North Carolina, and quickly worked his way up from handling misdemeanor DWI cases to felony assignments, including drug trafficking, robbery, and murder.

In 2007-2008, Johnson was an attorney at Sigmon, Clark, Mackie, Hutton, Hanvey & Ferrell, P.A. in his hometown of Hickory. He and his wife were members of the First Presbyterian Church of Hickory, where his father has been the senior minister for eighteen years. Daniel and Creecy's daughter, Bowen, was born on June 21, 2008.[5]

Congressional campaign

Daniel Johnson announced in late 2007 his run for Congress, and was able to raise more than $123,000 in campaign funds during the fourth quarter of 2007, an amount the Hickory Daily Record termed "competitive."[6]

Johnson won the May 6, 2008 Democratic primary election with approximately 60 percent of the vote.[7]

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added Johnson to its "Red to Blue" program in September 2008, indicating confidence that Johnson had momentum and could win in November.[8][9][10]

The Hickory Daily Record endorsed Johnson on October 31, writing, "We need independent-thinking candidates who will not be guided by their own political aspirations."[11]


Johnson announced plans to focus on several issues during his congressional campaign, including:

  • Healthcare

"The cost of healthcare is out of control and Daniel plans to find real solutions that drive down costs while maintaining quality of care. He supports government programs that work like S-CHIP, which insures millions of children nationwide; helping small businesses afford coverage for their employees through tax breaks and risk pools; and encouraging private insurers to offer fair and sensible coverage."[12]

  • Protecting our natural resources

"As a Christian and an avid outdoorsman, Daniel feels it is necessary to be a responsible steward of God's creation. He wants to protect the mountains, forests and streams that make the 10th District such a beautiful place to live and raise a family. He will work with industry to promote reasonable policies that protect North Carolina's natural resources. He will support incentives for investment in clean, renewable energy. Daniel also will encourage opening more federal and state land to hunting and fishing."[13]

  • Education

"As the son of a public school teacher, Daniel Johnson understands that the bedrock of our region's success will be the education of our children. Daniel will work to reform "No Child Left Behind" so that it includes the adequate funding and useful standards struggling schools need to improve. Teachers need to be adequately compensated and young people need to be recruited, trained, and encouraged to pursue this honorable profession. Math and science must be a top priority so that our high school, technical school, and college graduates enter the workforce ready to compete in the global marketplace. Daniel will help promote partnerships between our public schools and our business community to find practical solutions that give our children every advantage. And Daniel will fight to make technical school, community college, and four-year college affordable for every student that qualifies."[14]

  • Energy independence

"Daniel knows energy independence is an economic issue, a security issue, and a moral issue. Sky-rocketing gas prices are creating an enormous strain on our families and our small businesses. At the same time, the United States' dependence on Middle East oil leaves our national security at the mercy of unstable and sometimes hostile foreign regimes. Daniel will help government work with private industry and consumers to increase the efficiency of fossil fuel use while simultaneously encouraging the production and viable use of renewable resources. These efforts will drive down gas prices, secure our nation, create jobs, and protect our natural resources."[15]

  • Caring for our veterans

"America owes its prosperity and freedom to the veterans of our armed services. As a decorated Naval officer, Daniel Johnson understands the great sacrifices made daily by our soldiers and sailors. The men and women who wear the uniform in defense of our country deserve every possible resource to meet their objectives in battle and to lead healthy, productive lives when they return home. Daniel will never stop fighting for our military men and women and their families, to ensure that they receive the benefits, healthcare, and support that they have so dutifully earned."[16]

  • Military/national security

"Since September 11, 2001, our troops have performed above and beyond the call of duty in their military campaign. Daniel believes Congress has the obligation to provide the military with the resources it needs and to hold the White House accountable for its policy on fighting terror. He will help increase pressure on the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own peace and security. And he will ensure that our nation is prepared to confront the ever-changing battlefield of the global war on terror by strengthening our military, increasing our diplomatic efforts, and protecting possible domestic targets."[17]

  • Lowering taxes and cutting spending

"Daniel knows Congress has been failing its most fundamental responsibility - stewardship of our tax dollars. Since 2004, our nation's debt has increased by $1.6 trillion, 25% of which is held by China, and that number increases by $1 million every minute. Daniel recognizes we must cut wasteful spending and unnecessary corporate subsidies. He fight for a balanced budget but at the same time, Daniel knows too many Americans are paying too much in federal taxes. He plans to bring tax relief to the core of America - middle class and working class families, small businesses and entrepreneurs."[18]

  • Bringing Jobs Home

"The only exports that NAFTA and CAFTA produced were American jobs, and Western North Carolina was the hardest hit. He will fight for fair, enforceable trade laws that protect American jobs and increase the export of American products. Daniels will invest in our infrastructure and new technologies to attract new employers to the district."[19]


  1. ^ Hickory Daily Record: McHenry continues GOP dynasty in 10th District
  2. ^ News & Observer: Johnson returns to Raleigh
  3. ^ newsobserver.com | Naval hero running for Congress
  4. ^ Veterans for Johnson Rally Saturday, August 23, North Carolina Democratic Party website
  5. ^ Daniel Johnson For Congress
  6. ^ Hickory Daily Record: McHenry challenger sees strong support
  7. ^ Charlotte Observer, May 7, 2008
  8. ^ Campaign press release: Johnson named to "Red to Blue" list
  9. ^ Swing State Project: DCCC Promotes 8 More to "Red to Blue"
  10. ^ DC News Updates
  11. ^ Hickory Daily Record Editorial
  12. ^ Daniel Johnson For Congress
  13. ^ Daniel Johnson For Congress
  14. ^ Daniel Johnson For Congress
  15. ^ Daniel Johnson For Congress
  16. ^ Daniel Johnson For Congress
  17. ^ Daniel Johnson For Congress
  18. ^ Daniel Johnson For Congress
  19. ^ Daniel Johnson For Congress

External links

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