Jesse Johnson (politician)

Jesse C. Johnson, Jr. (born 2 March 1959) is an Executive Committee member and former chair of the environmentalist Mountain Party, the West Virginia affiliate of the Green Party. He has twice been his party's candidate for Governor of West Virginia, and once for a Senate seat. He has also been a filmmaker, actor, and theatrical producer.[1]


Born in Charleston, West Virginia, Johnson attended, at various times, Marshall University, North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of Charleston, and West Liberty University.

In 2004, Johnson ran as the Mountain Party candidate for Governor in order to maintain the newly-won ballot line and to bring the issue of mountain top removal to statewide attention. Despite having no corporate financial support, he received 18,430 votes (2.48%). In 2006, again to sustain ballot access for the party, he ran as the party's candidate for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Johnson received 1.9% of the vote, running against favored Senator Byrd.

In 2007, seeking to bring national attention to mountain top removal, Johnson presided as state chair over the Mountain Party's merger with the national Green Party [3]. During the merger, Johnson was solicited by members of the Greens to run for the party's nomination for President. He received the endorsement of former Alaskan Senator and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Gravel.[2] At the 2008 Green National Convention, on July 10–14, Johnson finished fifth in the balloting [4], which was won by former Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. While Johnson failed to secure the nomination, he succeeded in focusing attention on the environmental concerns of mountain top removal occurring in his state.

In 2008, he once again ran for Governor, this time as the Green Party candidate. His campaign was endorsed by the Sierra Club and the Citizens' Action Committee.[3] He received 31,195 votes (4.46%).[4]

Johnson is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Actor's Equity, AFTRA, and SAG's Native American Registry and has worked with both the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America.

He recently lost the United States Senate special election in West Virginia, 2010 for the late Robert Byrd's Senate seat in West Virginia. His opponents were Joe Manchin(D), who won the seat, John Raese (R), and Jeff Becker (Constitution). Johnson has been endorsed by former Democratic Congressman Ken Hechler to fill the seat.[5]


External links

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