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Johnson to retire


March 28, 2018

14th District Representative Norm Johnson announced Friday that he will retire from public office at the end of his term.

“I’ve enjoyed working for the people of my district. But my kids live elsewhere and I’d like to travel while my health is still good,” said Johnson.

The 79-year-old legislator has logged over 35 years of public service. He served in Mabton on the Town Council, then 20 years on the Toppenish City Council, followed by three years on the Yakima City Council and for the last 10 years as a state legislator.

A former teacher, school counselor and principal, Johnson’s involvement in education has influenced his work as a legislator. He co-sponsored a bill to establish the WSU Medical School and has supported Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences and Heritage University.

Johnson was known to work both sides of the aisle for the good of the district. He scored many wins on capital projects like the Maryhill Museum exterior and the Toppenish Veteran’s Center, which celebrates its grand opening May 21 in Toppenish.

His recent efforts, along with Rep. Laurie Jinkins, to introduce first-of-its-kind healthcare trust legislation, drew national attention from the New York Times.

“I’ve always strived to work with people on both sides of the aisle,” said Johnson. “It’s the best way I know to get things done.”

Johnson recalled the many public servants that had a profound influence on him. “It was an honor following Mary Skinner (longtime representative of the 14th District who preceded Johnson). Few people were held in such high regard in Olympia as Mary. Alex Deccio was another giant of a legislator who I admired. I will also miss working with my current seat mates, like Curtis King and Jim Honeyford. I feel lucky to have worked alongside them.”

“I have no regrets”, he summed up. “I have worked hard for the people.”


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