Elected officials mourn the death of longtime Alabama State Rep. Ron Johnson
State Rep. Ron Johnson (R-Sylacauga) passed away on Tuesday after a battle with liver cancer.
Johnson had served in the House since 1978, making him the longest continuously serving member in the chamber. A pharmacist by trade, he received his pharmacy degree from Auburn University.
Elected officials across Alabama on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning released statements mourning Johnson’s death.
“Losing any member of the House is difficult, but losing the body’s longest-serving member magnifies the loss even more,” Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) said.
“Since 1978, State Rep. Ron Johnson fought for the citizens of House District 33 in the corridors, committee rooms, and chambers of the Alabama State House. Along the way, he garnered the respect of his colleagues and all who are involved in the legislative process,” he continued. “Rep. Johnson was someone I could always turn to for advice and wise counsel both before and after I become Speaker of the House, and I will miss the support he provided. We will pray for comfort and solace for his family and all who loved him.”
House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) stated, “Because of his 42 years of service, State Rep. Ron Johnson was considered an institution both within the Alabama House of Representatives and the House Republican Caucus, and his loss will be felt.”
“Rep. Johnson’s experience, institutional knowledge, and decades of service made his a voice that commanded the respect and attention of his colleagues,” Ledbetter concluded. “On behalf of the Alabama House Republican Caucus, our prayers of comfort go out to his family, his friends, and the constituents that he served so ably for so long.”
Governor Kay Ivey will soon call a special election to fill Johnson’s seat. She ordered flags to half-staff until sunset on Wednesday to honor Johnson.
“I was saddened to learn of the passing of Rep. Johnson this evening, following his recent cancer diagnosis,” the governor said in a statement. “Ron and I have served together for many years.”
“He was a real champion for the communities in Talladega, Coosa, and Clay. He was engaged with the needs of his constituents, and never turned them away. He has offered much of his life to serving the people of Alabama, and I know his colleagues in the House, friends in the Senate and I will miss working with him. I pray that his loved ones feel peace knowing he is no longer suffering and is finally at rest,” Ivey added.
The AL House lost its longest-serving member yesterday with the passing of Rep. Ron Johnson. We served together, and he was dedicated to his district, its people, and their needs. Prayers for his family, and many thanks to Rep. Johnson for his service.
— Will Ainsworth (@willainsworthAL) July 15, 2020
Secretary of State John Merrill released a statement, saying, “Cindy and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend and my former colleague State Representative Ron Johnson (R-Sylacauga).”
“Representative Johnson has selflessly served our great state for 42 years, and I am incredibly grateful for his friendship, leadership, and guidance during the many years I have been fortunate enough to know him,” Merrill continued. “He leaves behind a legacy that will set an example for future legislators to follow for decades to come. His courageous attitude and eagerness to lend a helping hand to any in need will be deeply missed. His family is in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn