Youngstown Vindicator, August 1, 2023; By David Skolnick
U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, whose congressional district includes Mahoning and Columbiana counties, is endorsing Donald Trump in next year’s Republican primary for president.
“It’s time to return to the America first, common-sense policies of the first term of President Donald Trump and that’s why I am pleased to endorse him in 2024,” Johnson, R-Marietta, said Tuesday.
Johnson said prior to COVID-19, “the American economy was booming and everyday goods were affordable. We had the best economy we’d had in nearly five decades, nearly every American was paying less in taxes, we were energy independent for the first time in 70 years, we were feared by global adversaries and trusted by our friends and allies, and we were finally getting a handle on security at our southern border.”
He added: “Now, prices are high everywhere, energy prices have skyrocketed, hostile regimes and actors are on the move, and our security at home is weakened because of the non-enforcement of our immigration laws. America simply cannot continue down this dangerous and reckless path chosen by Joe Biden and his extremist administration.”
The national inflation rate in June, the most recent month, was 2.97 percent while the consumer price index rose 3 percent. Both are the lowest they’ve been since March 2021.
Johnson said April 12 when asked about endorsing Trump: “Republicans all across America will determine who the nominee is going to be. He is still very popular in Ohio. If Republicans nominate Donald Trump as the next presidential candidate then that’s who I’ll be endorsing because anything is better than what we’ve got in the White House right now.”
He was referring to Biden, the Democratic president who is running next year for re-election.
Johnson, first elected to the U.S. House in 2010, has been a solid ally of Trump since the latter emerged in 2016 as the Republican front-runner and went on to win Ohio and the presidency. Trump won Ohio again in 2020, but lost his re-election bid.
Polls show Trump as the leading Republican candidate for the presidential nomination next year despite his indictments and numerous lawsuits.
Trump has falsely stated numerous times that he won in 2020, claiming the election was rigged. Johnson has stated there were election irregularities but Biden won in 2020.
Johnson was among three Ohio officials who endorsed Trump on Tuesday. The others are state Treasurer Robert Sprague and U.S. Rep. Troy Balderson, R-Zanesville.
Previously endorsing Trump were three U.S. representatives along with U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Cincinnati, and Secretary of State Frank LaRose.
Trump has the endorsements of five of the 10 sitting Republican U.S. House members from Ohio.
Trump is also backed by businessman Bernie Moreno, who is running in next year’s Senate primary against LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls. Dolan hasn’t made a presidential endorsement, but Trump has been a critic of his.