The GOP was rocked by several unexpected retirements this week.
Among them, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) has decided to step down early and not complete his full term.
Johnson, 69, will be transitioning over to be the president of Youngstown State University.
We had already known that Johnson would be leaving office early, just not this early.
After being appointed the president of Youngstown, he was expected to be present for the first legislative session, then leave on March 15.
Now, however, he has informed Speaker Johnson (R-LA) and Governor Mike DeWine that his last day in Congress will be January 21, making it even more urgent for Johnson to pass legislation immediately as the GOP advantage will be reduced yet again once he leaves.
Assuming the seat vacated by former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) gets flipped to blue, this will leave Johnson a margin of only two seats for any piece of legislation.
Trustee Chairman Michael Peterson stated, "Bill brings a commitment to advancing our institution's mission, and we eagerly anticipate the contributions he and his wife LeeAnn will make to our community.”
For his part, Johnson was not very flattering on his way out the door, saying that the residents of his district have been disregarded by the “elites.”
Johnson wrote, "These blue-collar communities, like countless others in 'flyover county' were critical in building our great nation and will play a pivotal role in America's future. I am extremely humbled to have been repeatedly elected to serve them.”
Johnson will be stepping into a hornet’s nest, not exactly welcomed by YSU students, faculty, and donors, who have been critical of how the Board of Trustees did a closed search for the new president as well as Johnson’s lack of experience running an institution of higher education.
Johnson has also made comments about the “indoctrination” of today’s youth in higher education, stating that “liberal ideas” are being forced on students.
Good luck, Mr. Johnson… you are going to need it.