U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson said he will seek a seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee now that he has been re-elected to a second term in the House.
Johnson, R-Marietta, defeated former Rep. Charlie Wilson, a Democrat from St. Clairsville, in Tuesday's race for Ohio's 6th Congressional District seat. Final returns - not complete until early Wednesday - showed Johnson with 156,063 votes and Wilson, 136,357, according to figures from the Ohio Secretary of State's Office.
Wilson received the most votes in Belmont, Jefferson, Monroe and Tuscarawas counties. Johnson, though, was victorious in Harrison County and the other 13 counties in the 6th District - Athens, Carroll, Columbiana, Gallia, Guernsey, Jackson, Lawrence, Mahoning, Meigs, Muskingum, Noble, Scioto and Washington.
"I thank the voters very much for the confidence they have in me and for believing in the message of job creation, smaller government, strengthening Medicare, less government spending and debt reduction," Johnson said. "I will continue to fight for those things - and I will also continue to fight against the 'war on coal.' ... I am humbled to represent the district for a second term, and I'm anxious to get back to work."
Johnson, 57, had not served in public office before being elected to the House in 2010. He holds a bachelor's degree from Troy University and a master's degree from Georgia Tech. He served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force before retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1999.
Johnson presently serves on the following committees in the House: the Committee on Natural Resources, the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Veterans Affairs, where he is chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Johnson said Wednesday he will seek to become a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the next term of Congress that convenes in January. Rep. David B. McKinley, R-Wheeling, already is a member of the committee.
"Energy is a big issue, and I would love to get on the committee and serve the people of the 6th District," Johnson said.