Alumnus running for state representative


Alex Hopper, News Editor

 UNA alumnus, Patrick Johnson, announced his candidacy for the Alabama house of representatives. Johnson will be running as a republican for the district four representative, which covers the Huntsville and Decatur areas. The primary election is on May 24 of 2022. 

Johnson has had a long-standing career of seeking to serve his community. For Johnson, UNA played a vital part in jump starting that service and his leadership abilities. 

Johnson graduated from UNA in 1999. Heavily involved in on campus activities, Johnson ran cross country, was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon – eventually becoming president of the organization – and a member of the Interfraternity Council (IFC). 

It was through these experiences that Johnson found a love for leadership. 

“UNA gave me the chance to grow up and find out who I wanted to be,” Johnson said. “I wasn’t the fastest runner on the cross-country team but I was a leader, I just didn’t know that at the time.”

Johnson’s other leadership roles include being president of his fraternity, which he believes jump started in natural leadership abilities. 

“The ability to talk to, motivate, and inspire people is something I learned when I was in those roles,” Johnson said. “It just kind of correlated down into the business world and the things that I’ve been involved with in the community.”

Johnson is still invested in UNA and its students’ successes. He serves on the “Project 208” committee, which seeks to obtain more funding at the state level for the university. 

Additionally, Johnson comes back to campus twice a year to work with graduating seniors to help build their interviewing skills and operates a booth at on-campus job fairs. 

Johnson’s ties to UNA are not just in spirit, as his two daughters, Addie and Elliot Johnson, are currently enrolled at the university. 

Johnson has owned a State Farm office for 12 years. Through this he learned the power of marketing through personal interaction with his community. 

“I used to spend 25 to 30,000 dollars a year on billboards but after a while, I just didn’t think that was the branding that I wanted to do,” Johnson said. “So [instead] I just got very involved in my community.”

Johnson joined many community organizations such as the Realtors Association, the Home Builders Association, and the Decatur Kiwanis club – which seeks to meet the needs of children within the community. 

“I made a point to get to know people in those different fields,” said Johnson. “I am proud of that and it was just a chance to give back to the community.” 

Additionally, through this initiative, Johnson served on the Chamber of Commerce. 

“This gave me a year where I got to be the voice of the business community,” said Johnson. “I got to listen to superintendents speak about what they’re dealing with in education.

After finding a love for serving his community, Johnson made his decision to run for the state house of representatives to hopefully take that love and apply it towards a larger goal. 

“I have a window of where I can put the time and energy into serving at a bigger stage and see if I can have some impact back home and, in my community,,” said Johnson.

When speaking of his particular platform, Johnson explains that he hopes to listen to his community and make decisions that will help meet their needs. 

“I want to be able to listen,” said Johnson. “To what groups and organizations need, and I want to be able to bring them together.”

A large part of Johnson’s platform is to be a champion for his district. 

“When you get to Montgomery, there’s 105 state representatives and there’s 35 senators, and they’re from all over the state,” Johnson said. “They’re chosen from different communities, different backgrounds, different areas, and you hope they’re all champions for those communities and bringing back the best they can for those communities.”

“That’s really what I want to do for Decatur,” Johnson said. “I just want to be a champion for them.”