Jonathan Johnson (R-Utah) has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in his bid to defeat incumbent Governor Gary Herbert. In signing the Pledge, a written commitment to voters to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes,” Johnson has demonstrated that he is a staunch defender of Beehive State taxpayers.
His pledge can be viewed here.
Johnson is the only Republican candidate running against incumbent Gov. Herbert. Utah’s primary election will be held on Tuesday, June 28.
As governor, Herbert has supported and signed tax hikes into law. Just last year, Herbert signed a $75 million gas tax increase and a $76 million property tax hike. Herbert has also pushed to impose the tobacco tax on vapor products, a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes.
Under Gov. Herbert’s tenure, taxpayers have been hit with $625 million in tax increases.
“By signing the pledge, Johnson demonstrates that he will protect taxpayers from higher taxes, something that Gov. Herbert has failed to do,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “While Gov. Herbert has been nothing but a rubber stamp for tax increases, Johnson understands that government should be reformed in a way that it spends and takes less taxpayer dollars, and will oppose tax increases that prolong failures of the past.”
Johnson is the former CEO and current board chairman of Overstock.com, a Utah-based online retailer.
Previously, he served as a clerk in the Utah Supreme Court, practiced corporate law at two international law firms, and was chief financial officer and general counsel at a publicly traded software company. A graduate of Brigham Young University law school, he also worked as an adjunct law professor.
Johnson serves on the governing boards of the Utah Technology Council, University of Utah Hospital Foundation, Utah Foundation, Salt Lake Chamber Clean Air Task Force, and Hale Centre Theatre.
Americans for Tax Reform offers the Pledge to all candidates for state and federal office. In the 114th Congress, 49 U.S. Senators and 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are pledge signers. Pledge signers include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady are also pledge signers.
On the state level, approximately 1,000 incumbent state legislators are Pledge signers. Eleven incumbent governors are pledge signers including Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.), Gov. Rick Scott (Fla.), Gov. Nikki Haley (S.C.), and Gov. Pat McCrory (N.C.).