Republican Tommie Johnson Announces Candidacy for Oklahoma County Sheriff

Oklahoma City native Tommie Johnson has announced his candidacy for the office of Oklahoma County Sheriff.  Johnson, a Republican, lives in southwest Oklahoma City with his wife, Amanda, and their two children. A law enforcement veteran, Johnson currently serves with the Norman Police Department.

“I am running to bring new leadership to the Sheriff’s office,” Johnson said. “As the last few years have made abundantly clear, the old ways of doing things just aren’t getting it done. We need a fresh approach here in Oklahoma County, and it’s time for a new generation of leadership in the Sheriff’s office.”

OKC roots

The son of a grocery store butcher, Johnson attended Oklahoma City public schools his entire life.  We went to Hillcrest Elementary, Northeast Middle School and graduated from U.S. Grant High School, where he and his wife, Amanda, were classmates.  Amanda now works in the insurance industry as an underwriter.

Johnson was an all-state baseball player at Grant and played at East Central University, where he earned his college degree.

A Republican and man of faith

Johnson grew up in Antioch Baptist Church and is now a member of Fifth Street Baptist, both in Oklahoma City. Although he was born into a Democrat family, as he grew up, Johnson realized his conservative principles most closely matched the Republican Party.  He is a member in the inaugural class of the J. Rufus Fears Program for conservative studies at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs and was voted president of the class by his peers.  Johnson also serves as a Republican Precinct Chairman.

A decorated law enforcement veteran

Johnson began his law enforcement career with the University of Oklahoma Police Department.  In 2015, he joined the Norman Police Department, where he has been promoted to the rank of Master Police Officer and was recently honored with the City of Norman Police Department’s Centennial Award.  Johnson has served on the hiring board, bargaining committee and uniform committee, in addition to earning the Department’s life saving award.

With a heart for kids, Johnson has been a leader on school safety issues.  Last year he testified before a Capitol committee in support of school safety legislation, and he appeared in a safety video produced by the State Department of Education.  He serves as a youth sports coach and regularly volunteers as a mentor for at risk kids in local elementary schools, where he especially tries to be a positive male influence in the lives of young boys.

A fresh start for the Sheriffs office

Given the mismanagement of the Sheriff’s office in recent years, Johnson said he is committed to a new approach that ensures trust and competency, focusing on four key themes:

Safer Communities – “We will work hard to ensure safer communities, putting the rights of law abiding citizens at the forefront of everything we do,” Johnson said. “We especially want to have a strong presence in the rural areas where we have primary jurisdiction.”

Fiscal Responsibility –“The terrible mismanagement we’ve seen at the Sheriff’s Office is simply unacceptable, and it’s time for change. It’s critical that the new sheriff leads with a clear commitment to fiscal reasonability,” Johnson said. “The office must be more responsible, more mindful of what it spends and save money each and every place that we can.”

Partnerships – “There are many stakeholders when it comes to county law enforcement and our jail,” Johnson said. “We must work with better communication and collaboration between citizens, County Commissioners/County officers, and municipal law enforcement.”

Progress – “The Sheriff’s office has an important role to play with other leaders to move our community forward,” Johnson said. “We will be a partner in progress, unlike the anchor that the Sheriff’s office has frankly been in recent years, dragging down our community with all its problems. We can’t keep operating like it’s the 1980’s, 90’s or even early 2000’s. We need a fresh approach for today’s challenges, and that’s what I’ll bring.”

Local leaders support Johnson

Several local leaders said they were pleased by Johnson’s announcement and enthusiastically support his election.

Blake Johnson, a past Deacon at Antioch Baptist Church, said Johnson is “a husband and father of high character and someone we will all be proud of as our County Sheriff.”

Elizabeth Woolen, the former chief of the University of Oklahoma Police Department, said she has watched Johnson “become an exemplary officer, someone who can have a dynamic effect on Oklahoma County law enforcement.”

Local banker Jackie Listen and small business owner Jake Moomey both said that Johnson is the type of “dependable, common sense leader who will bring strong leadership and accountability” to the Sheriff’s office.

Melanie Kelley, a counselor at Kennedy Elementary School, said she has seen Johnson’s work with at risk kids in her school, and she knows “he will make a tremendous impact as Sheriff, especially for kids.”

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