Senator Johnson, District 36, issues press release


As the current Senator for Senate District 36, I am enjoying my time on the campaign trail as I work towards re-election to a position that has allowed me to help many people over the years and to bring tens of millions of dollars to District 36. However, although I have run successfully for several offices since 1994 (Manning City Council for 6 years, Mayor of Manning for 11 years, SC House of Representatives for 2 years and SC Senate for 12 years), I have never been involved in a campaign quite like this.

 My opponent in the Democratic Primary that will be held on June 11, is Eleazer Carter. He ran against me in 2012 and received less than 3% of the vote and again in 2020 where he received about 21% of the vote. He uses a couple of different addresses in Clarendon County when he runs although the official records of Richland County show that he is a legal resident of Senate District 21, not District 36. His tactics are strange, as he voted in the Republican Presidential Primary in February and then filed to run for SC Senate as a Democrat in March. A simple Google search will tell you just about all you need to know about him, including how he was kicked off the school board in Summerton because he was a resident of Richland County and how, as an attorney, he was reprimanded by the Supreme Court of SC for violating five rules of professional conduct.

 As he continues to use some of the most underhanded political tactics, I have always said that he is definitely entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.  Their entire campaign is based, not on the issues that the voters want to hear about from us, but on the fact that my wife and two daughters work for our school district. Their whole campaign is based on trying to convince voters that my family members would not have the job that they have if it were not for me.  They won’t  talk about the degrees and certifications that they have, their character and integrity, their devotion and dedication to the school district and the students and the fact that each of them are highly qualified to have the jobs that they have.. They won’t even admit that they don’t have any idea what their job entails or any understanding of what they do. 

 The District has 623 employees.  They are going door to door in the district, stopping people as they go about their business and are even going to the place of employment of prospective voters.  Out of the 623 employees, they are approaching people and presenting them with the salary information of 3 people, my wife and my two daughters.  They are trying to convince others that my family members work for the school district because of me and that their salaries are what they are because of me.  My wife has been a school district employee for almost 33 years.  She has been in the same position the entire time. She works the entire twelve months of every year. She has a great work ethic and gets along well with the staff, teachers and students. She was recruited  in 1991 by a former school district administrator  who convinced her to leave the only other job that she has ever had  to come work for the district. Again that was 33 years ago and they want others to think that she got her job because I am a state senator and I have only been a senator for 12 years. One of my daughters was not even hired by the school district. She was hired as the Assistant Director of our Career Center which was under the jurisdiction and control of Central Carolina Technical College.  She meets all of the guidelines and certifications of the SC Department of Education and is highly qualified to have the job that she has. They are telling everyone that she got her job because of me.  She had a good job working in the healthcare industry and I tried to convince her to stay there. My other daughter is the Coordinator of all social workers for the district. In addition to serving the students at the largest schools in our district, she is the supervisor of the other district social workers. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and a Licensed Independent Social Worker-Clinical Practice, LISW-CP. This designation allows her to have her own social work/mental health practice and she can diagnose mental health issues without approval of anyone else.  Plus, she wears many other hats for the district. A former Superintendent convinced her to leave her job at DSS and come work for the school district for less than she was making at DSS.  Again, they are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. 

My home school district in Manning has had an appointed school board forever.  The legislative delegation appoints the school board members.  Many of the school board members were serving even before I was elected to the senate.  Carter and his crew are trying to convince the voters that the school board answers to me.  They do not.  They take the same oath that I take where we swear allegiance to the Constitution.   Because of a bill that I filed, during the upcoming election, the school board will be elected as opposed to appointed. So, if I wanted to control the school board through appointments, why would I file a bill that gives the Clarendon County School District a totally elected board for the first time ever?

They are going all over the district in an attempt to question  my integrity and assassinate my character.  Their only campaign tactic is to try to convince people that as a state senator all I have done is to benefit my family, while the exact opposite is true.  My record of service is extensive, exhaustive and a matter of public record.  This tactic of theirs is what is known as ‘divide and conquer’. The more that it doesn’t work, the more desperate they become. This is the kind of campaign a person runs when they have nothing else to run on. All I ask of everyone is this, feel free to check with anyone in the school district from the top of the organization chart to the bottom.  All of them will readily admit that I have never, ever made contact with anyone in our school district on behalf of any family member.  Have I written letters of recommendations or put in a good word for others, YES, gladly. Have I ever done so for a member of my family, NO. I am convinced that they know better. His entire campaign is based on his hope that the voters don’t  know better.  I think that he has already found that the people that he is trying to deceive are much more intelligent than he. The way that a person campaigns for an office is a good indication of how they will conduct themselves if elected.  

I am spending my time campaigning on the issues and talking about my achievements and the work that is yet to be done on behalf of my constituents and the citizens of South Carolina.  But, at the same time, I refuse to let Carter and company have free reign in their attempts to mislead the voters.