New Speaker Mike Johnson Made His Name as Cultural Conservative


New Speaker Mike Johnson Made His Name as Cultural Conservative

By Eliza Collins, Siobhan Hughes, Katy Stech Ferek
Louisiana Republican played key role in legal effort to overturn 2020 election

WASHINGTON—In choosing Mike Johnson as the new House speaker, Republicans have cast their lot with a little-known congressman from Louisiana who has made his name pushing conservative positions on cultural issues and who played a key role in unsuccessful legal efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

After 22 days without a speaker, House Republicans came together to elect Johnson for the post Wednesday after three other better-known nominees failed to unite the fractured conference.

Johnson, 51 years old, represents Louisiana’s deep-red fourth district, in the state’s northwest that includes Shreveport, where he grew up. Johnson is the son of a firefighter who was critically burned and disabled in the line of duty. He is the father of four children of his own.

Johnson was elected to Congress in 2016 after serving in the Louisiana state legislature. He has been an attorney with a focus on social conservative issues, including defending the state’s same-sex marriage ban before the Louisiana Supreme Court. His opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion along with support for religious freedoms has continued to guide him as a legislator.

As vice chairman of the House Republican Conference, Johnson was one of seven elected leaders for the party. However, he was seen as far enough removed from the top positions that members looking for new leadership—even more moderate lawmakers who might differ with him on some issues—were supportive of him taking over.

“Mike Johnson is a person who I think everybody respects, he’s a very principled human being,” said Rep. Mario Diaz Balart (R., Fla.).

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