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Johnson will run for Seminole mayor

Jimmy Johnson has ended months of speculation with the announcement that yes, he intends to run for mayor in March.

By ANNE LINDBERG
Published September 25, 2006


SEMINOLE - Jimmy Johnson has ended months of speculation with the announcement that yes, he intends to run for mayor in March.

"My purpose is twofold: to continue to serve the citizens of Seminole and to continue the efficient operation that we currently have with an excellent City Council, mayor and city manager," said Johnson, 63, who is serving his second term on the Seminole council.

"My goal is just to bring some new perspectives to the city, continue with the planned economic development programs and to work very closely with the city government people," he said Thursday.

Johnson declined to elaborate on his ideas, saying he would do so later when he makes his formal announcement, in the "very near future."

Johnson is the second to announce his candidacy for mayor. Local mobile home activist Leo Plenski announced his in June.

At the time, Plenski acknowledged the possibility that he would face Johnson in the race.

Plenski said he thinks he can beat Johnson, but many political observers think Johnson is virtually unbeatable because he is well-liked and well-known, and was an enthusiastic supporter of the city even before he was elected to the council.

Johnson will be a "very formidable" opponent for anyone, Seminole council member John Counts said. "He's a very good campaigner."

Counts said he toyed with the idea of running for mayor but decided against it once Johnson decided to run. That decision was based in part on Johnson's strength in the community.

Johnson "exudes the positive nature of the city," Counts said. "He's highly regarded and highly respected."

Johnson is a North Carolina native who moved to Seminole in 1980. He left in 1990 when Kmart, his then-employer, transferred him but returned six years later when he retired.

In the late 1990s he went to work with the Seminole Chamber of Commerce and is now the group's executive director. He also holds a real estate license.

He is divorced and has one child and one grandchild. His daughter died in 2004.