Nancy Johnson

Nancy Johnson
Nancy Johnson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's 5th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by James H. Maloney
Succeeded by Chris Murphy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Toby Moffett
Succeeded by District eliminated
Personal details
Born January 5, 1935 ( 1935-01-05) (age 76)
Chicago, Illinois
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Dr. Ted Johnson, M.D.
Residence New Britain, Connecticut
Alma mater Radcliffe College, University of London
Occupation high school teacher
Religion Unitarian Universalist

Nancy Lee Johnson (born 1 May 1935) is a former American politician from the state of Connecticut. Johnson was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 2007, representing first the 6th district and later the 5th District of Connecticut following the elimination of the 6th district. In September 2007, Johnson began lobbying for Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC in Washington, D.C. [1]


Early life, education, and early career

Johnson was born in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Chicago Laboratory School (high school) in 1953, and from Radcliffe College in 1957. She attended the University of London's Courtauld Institute in 1957 and 1958. She later moved to New Britain, Connecticut, where she lives today.

She was a teacher before serving in the Connecticut Senate from 1977 to 1983. She is married to Dr. Theodore Johnson, and has three daughters.

House of Representatives


Johnson was elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 with 52 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat William E. Curry Jr. She replaced Democrat Anthony "Toby" Moffett, who made an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate that year.

She won narrowly in her re-election bid in 1996, defeating Democrat Charlotte Koskoff 50%-49%. She had won re-elections prior to 2002 with 59 to 74 percent of the vote.[clarification needed] She attributed her decreased percentage to the time she had spent on the House ethics panel, dealing with ethics allegations against Speaker Newt Gingrich, which prevented her from getting around in her district. She won in 1998, again against Koskoff, with 59% of the vote, and got 63% of the vote in 2000 against Paul Valenti.

Had Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election, Governor John G. Rowland would have appointed Johnson to serve in the United States Senate for at least the first two years of Joe Lieberman's term (Lieberman had been reelected to the Senate at the same time as the presidential election).[2]

In 2002, Johnson's New Britain-based district was merged with the Waterbury-based 5th District of Democratic Congressman James H. Maloney. While the new district retained Maloney's district number, its geography and demographics slightly favored Johnson. Johnson won the general election with 54% of the vote. In 2004, she defeated Democrat Theresa Gerratana, getting 60 percent of the vote.


Johnson is a moderate Republican, like most Republicans from Connecticut. She called herself "an independent voice in Washington", although she frequently supported the mainstream Republican agenda. Some nonpartisan observers such as National Journal rated her near the ideological midpoint in the House, although others, like the American Conservative Union (ACU) rated her as a moderate conservative. The ACU gave Johnson's 2005 voting record 40 points out of 100; the liberal Americans for Democratic Action gave her 35 points. In general, she was moderate-to-liberal on social issues and conservative on economic ones.

Johnson is a member of several socially moderate Republican groups including The Wish List, The Republican Main Street Partnership, Republicans for Choice, the Republican Majority for Choice, and Republicans for Environmental Protection, although she has supported many elements of President George W. Bush's agenda and the agenda of conservative House leaders.[citation needed]

In 1998, Johnson voted for two of the four articles of impeachment then-President Bill Clinton--the only member of the Connecticut delegation to support Clinton's impeachment.

In 2003, Johnson voted with the House Democrats to oppose Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. The bill was passed by a large majority 281-142 on October 2, 2003.

In 2006, Johnson attracted considerable controversy after voting against a Republican budget reconciliation bill that passed the House by two votes. She was one of 14 moderate Republicans that crossed party lines to side with Democrats against it.


Johnson is a strong supporter of Republican policy on health care and the Iraq war, but opposed the Bush energy agenda, including oil drilling in the ANWR refuge. She has received favorable marks from such groups as the National Education Association and the Sierra Club.

In 2005, Johnson supported the White House plan to partially privatize Social Security and voted for a measure sponsored by then Majority Leader Tom DeLay that would have weakened House Ethics rules ([3]).

One of Johnson's central issues is health care. She was one of the authors of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit program, which took effect in 2006. On May 15, 2006, Johnson announced she will submit legislation to waive penalties for those who miss deadlines to enroll in Medicare Part D, reacting to widespread criticism of the Johnson-authored program. Her bill is supported by the AARP ([4]).


With the retirement of Ways and Means Committee chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) at the end of his term, Johnson was a possible candidate to replace him as chairman if Republicans were to retain the House and Johnson retain her seat in the November elections, but that did not happen.

Campaign contributors

Connecticut is a center of the pharmaceutical industry with Pfizer and Bayer operating major facilities in the state. According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Johnson has been one of the leading Congressional recipients of contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, receiving $534,830 in related contributions since 2000. [5]

2006 re-election campaign

In the November 2006 general election, Johnson faced Democrat Chris Murphy, a state senator originally elected from the First District town of Southington, Connecticut who now lives in Cheshire. Murphy, 33, has been outspoken in his criticism of Johnson's role in authoring Medicare Part D legislation and for her support of Bush's Iraq policy.

In April 2006, Johnson became the target of a negative ad campaign run by a political action committee,, which alleged ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX). Johnson responded with her own advertising campaign dismissing the charges and strongly attacking Murphy, accusing him of not disavowing the MoveOn attack ads.

Johnson had a large cash advantage over her challenger. In April 2006, Johnson reported that she had raised $436,000 in the first quarter of the year, with 60% of that coming from PACs, and 56% from contributors from outside Connecticut [6]. In the second quarter of 2006 she raised almost $800,000, and had cash on hand, as of June 30, 2006, of $2.6 million.[7]

In late October, Chris Murphy had a slight lead, and heading into the election it was projected that he would win by four points.[citation needed] Johnson ultimately lost the race in November to Chris Murphy by 12 points; the only House incumbent to suffer a worse defeat was John Hostettler (IN-08). Local speculation in the Hartford Courant was that Johnson's negative TV ads, which accused Murphy of coddling sex offenders and drug dealers, may have proven counterproductive. Johnson won only six of the district's 41 towns, losing many areas that had reliably supported her in the past. For instance, she lost badly in New Britain, an area she had represented for 30 years at both the federal and state level. She'd failed to carry New Britain in her last two elections.


Following her career in Congress, in 2007 Johnson became a Resident Fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics. [8]

In October 2007, Johnson endorsed former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's bid for the Republican presidential nomination. [9]

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Toby Moffett
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
District eliminated
Preceded by
James H. Maloney
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Chris Murphy
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim McDermott
Chairman of House Ethics Committee
Succeeded by
James V. Hansen
Party political offices
Preceded by
Nicholas Schaus
Republican Party nominee for Connecticut's 6th congressional district
1982 (won), 1984 (won), 1986 (won), 1988 (won), 1990 (won), 1992 (won), 1994 (won), 1996 (won), 1998 (won), 2000 (won)
Succeeded by
District eliminated
Preceded by
Mark Nielsen
Republican Party nominee for Connecticut's 5th congressional district
2002 (won), 2004 (won), 2006 (lost)
Succeeded by
David Cappiello

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