City & County

Johnson announces bid for Clark County Justices of the Peace

Amelia May Johnson

Amelia May Johnson is hoping to unseat incumbent District 8 Justice of the Peace Garry “B.J.” Johns in the upcoming 2024 election for a seat on the Clark County Quorum Court.

“After much thought and prayer, I’ve decided to run for Clark County Justice of the Peace as a pro-life Democrat,” Johnson said in an announcement. “Although I’m unlikely to win and have nothing personal against [Johns],” Johnson outlined reasons for the bid.

“I want to give the people of Amity, part of Alpine (which was split between districts 8 and 6 as part of the GOP’s gerrymander), and the surrounding areas a choice,” Johnson said. “This is especially important at a time when our democracy is under attack by corrupt politicians who try to overturn elections when they lose, gerrymander the district maps, make it harder to vote, and routinely throw out ballots cast by legal voters for mere technicalities.”

Johnson, a pro-gun transgender, ran against Johns in 2022 as an independent candidate. Johns would soundly defeat Johnson in a 459-52 vote. For the upcoming election, Johnson is filing with the Democratic Party.

“The reason I’m running as a Democrat is because the Republican Party is too extreme,” Johnson said. “I was raised a Republican and strongly supported Donald Trump in 2016, but left the GOP when I came out as transgender and voted third party in 2020. Nearly four years later, I’ve decided to join the Democratic Party to help defend democracy and fight back against a party that claims to support freedom while passing authoritarian laws to take freedom away from LGBT+ Americans.”

Johnson currently serves as state lead for the Arkansas chapter of Democrats for Life and would support a resolution to declare Clark County pro-life, as well as a Second Amendment sanctuary ordinance.

Also on the local level of government, Johnson favors fiscal responsibility and believes the county “should be careful with how we spend taxpayer dollars, while at the same time adequately funding important services like road maintenance and the Sheriff’s Office.

Johnson opposes aspects of the tax-funded Economic Development Corp. of Clark County and favors “repealing and replacing the weak, Republican guidelines ordinance. I also support cutting sales and property taxes to help working-class people.”

Johnson applauded District 2 Justice Michael Ankton’s livestream ordinance, which Johns opposed, “because government transparency is very important at a time when most Americans distrust the government.”

Johnson also favors pay raises for county employees. “All county employees should be paid at least $14/hour, or a salary of $29,120 a year — especially employees of the Sheriff’s Office,” Johnson said. “The people who keep our county government functional and our streets safe should be paid a living wage and not have to worry about how they’re going to make ends meet, especially if we can afford to give charitable raises to elected officials.”

CLICK HERE to read Johnson’s full announcement.