By Ben Lane, TSB Staff
Until just before the 5 p.m. filing deadline on Friday, it looked like McKinney’s mayor had an easy path to re-election. In the last hour of the last day to file the paperwork necessary to run for public office, McKinney’s mayoral race went from an uncontested re-election for Brian Loughmiller to a contested race featuring an unknown challenger.
Enter Derrick Earl Johnson. A 10-year resident of Stonebridge, Johnson says he decided to join the mayoral election after initially considering running for the open City Council at-large seat, which will be contested by Jeremiah Hammer, Randy Pogue and Martin Sanchez.
Upon learning that no member of a minority has ever served as mayor of McKinney, Johnson decided to throw his hat into the ring and run for mayor.
“I want to be a voice for people who don’t have a voice,” Johnson told TownSquareBuzz.com. “I’m concerned about bringing everyone together. The city lacks diversity. I want to add some diversity and be someone who minorities can identify with.”
The 44-year-old Johnson is the pastor at Independent Baptist Church in Como, Texas. Como is roughly 80 miles east of McKinney, near Sulphur Springs. The long-standing Independent Baptist Church (located at 1696 County Road 2437, Como, Texas 75431) has been in existence for 130 years.
Johnson has been in the ministry for 15 years and has served as pastor at Independent Baptist for six years, but he does not have any previous experience in public office.
Johnson is a 2002 graduate of Southern Bible Institute of Dallas and has also attended Crisswell College in Dallas.
Johnson’s campaign is a family affair. His wife, Janeen, will serve as his campaign treasurer.
Johnson is the father of four sons and one daughter, and he and Janeen have been married for 10 years.
Below is a statement from Derrick Johnson about why he chose to run for mayor of McKinney:
“My concern for the City of McKinney is not the potential of growth, or even how fast the city is growing. These two issues can be seen with the current increase in population and the continuation of how fast the city is growing, without a single person solely taking responsibility for that. McKinney is a great place to live; anyone who visits here can see that it is a great family-friendly place to live.
My concern is however, how certain areas of the city seem to have either been ignored or accidentally overlooked. In either case, the East side of McKinney is a major concern for me. How can the city as a whole grow, when there are certain areas that have not grown?
I am very concerned and passionate about many issues in our city, such as diversity, the lack of minorities on the city council, the lack of minorities that are employed in our school district, and the lack of compensation of City Council members who work without pay. These and many other issues should be addressed, and I believe while I may lack the experience that the current mayor may have from a business perspective, I do have experience with ‘people’ and ‘families.’ I understand how economic growth is important for the future of a growing city, however if the city does not grow in all areas, there is no growth at all.
As Mayor, I intend to bring ALL races, nationalities, and backgrounds together, and by doing so, create an even better city than we already have.”
TSB kicked off its election coverage with an overview of the races and candidates. Click here to view.