John Johnson appointed District 4 Harrison County supervisor

Published: Mar. 9, 2015 at 8:12 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 9, 2015 at 10:12 PM CDT
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Harrison County supervisors on Monday appointed John Johnson to fill the remainder of William Martin's term in District 4. That vacancy was created when Martin committed suicide, shortly after federal charges were filed against him.

Johnson was appointed at the start of Monday's meeting. And after Judge Carter Bise administered the oath of office, the new supervisor assumed his seat at the board table.

WLOX News asked him about his biggest challenge as District 4's voice on the board.

"My biggest challenge for me is to restore the public's trust," said Johnson, "And it's going to mean being transparent with the people, let them know what's going on."

No stranger to public service, Johnson served nearly 30 years on the Harrison County school board. He also helped create the very district he'll now be serving.

"Back in 1983, I worked on a redistricting plan. And today, thank God, I've been selected to serve in the position that I was instrumental in helping to develop," he recalled.

His appointment wasn't unanimous. Supervisor Windy Swetman voted "no" though he declined to elaborate why.

"What's important today is that Harrison County moves forward. I respect the majority of the board and we're here to do what's best for all of Harrison County," said Supervisor Swetman.

There's no shortage of candidates who'd like to fill the District 4 seat on a permanent basis. Thirteen candidates have qualified to run this fall.

"I'm glad that we are moving forward as quickly as possible to try to restore faith and honesty back into our board," said Board President Connie Rockco, "And also move forward in the community's eyes and let them be confident."

The primary election is in August. The 13 who've qualified for the District 4 seat include ten Democrats, one Republican, and two Independents.

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