Thank You, Don

Don Johnson
Don Johnson

After Friday’s Lincoln Day Dinner, Shelby County Republican executive director Don Johnson will be stepping down from his post. He will be working for Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn – an important and exciting new job.

While we are all happy for Don, it’s a big loss for Shelby GOP. His knowledge of Memphis politics is encyclopedic, or perhaps Wikipedic in today’s lingo. He knows voting patterns in just about every ward in the 200-odd precincts in the city. You could probably name a street and Don would be able to tell you all about it.

It’s quite an achievement for someone who is just 29. Most of us are just familiar with the politics of our lifespan, but even with only 29 years, Don knows about past Memphis and national politics as well. During the recent Irish elections (you remember them, don’t you? and who was running?), Don even followed that and interpreted for us what it all meant. His  knowledge is certainly world wide.

But aside from all that, Don is one of the nicest persons I have ever met. It’s not a forced niceness either. In politics you have to grit your teeth often to be nice to people who are annoying, but Don’s is a natural niceness. Several times on facebook he has expressed a little frustration, but others have asked what he was doing at headquarters at 10 p.m. anyhow, answering the phones with questions from the public that would make the rest of us tear our hair out.

He is always cordial. No matter what silly question I’ve had, he answers politely and respectfully. At training sessions full of older people like myself who have trouble understanding the world of laptops and i phones, Don has been patient with us beyond the call of duty. A sense of humor helps him and puts us all at ease.

We’re all familiar with his sympathetic “well, bless your heart” and it is always appreciated. He keeps up with all of us. When a member departs this life, Don lets everyone know in Trunkline, sharing an anecdote that

His optimism – in a county whose task for a Republican is often akin to Sisyphus – is catching. Many in his position would have winced at the possibility of victory in the August 5 elections, but Don helped us sally through to a sweep.

Don will come to a meeting to help you even though he’d probably rather go home at the end of the day. Some might treat it as a 9-5 job, except for election time; Don ignores those boundaries and gives his all year round.

He has come to our Midtown Republican Club meetings several times just to cheer us on. The last one Don walked in to spontaneous applause. He looked surprised and baffled. He shouldn’t have. Don has won the hearts of the whole county.

Lucky Marsha.

One thought on “Thank You, Don”

  1. Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
    Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, FY2004 Foreign Operations Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Flood Insurance Reauthorization , Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Debt Limit Increase, Fiscal 2005 Omnibus Appropriations, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening, Patriot Act extention.

    Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
    Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations, Withdrawing U.S. Soldiers from Afghanistan.

    Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
    See her “blatantly unconstitutional” votes at :

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