With midterms just around the corner it’s safe to say there will be no shortage of controversy this election year. Utah may not be a hotbed for election drama, but there is one candidate whose racist comments, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, and demeaning views towards women are flying under the radar. House District 31 Republican Candidate Fred Johnson has made multiple inflammatory, inappropriate, and downright awful remarks on social media over the years, particularly on a Twitter page under the handle “OutLowd.”
Allow this report to serve as a timeline detailing controversial and offensive statements Johnson has made at the expense of some of the very people he is campaigning to represent.
- March 21, 2018: In response to sexual assault allegations against an LDS mission president, Johnson implied the accuser was merely a “psycho gold digger.”
- January 28, 2018: On a post about Women’s Marchers littering at rallies, Johnson called the marchers “pigs” who left a “mess for someone else to clean up.”
- October 19, 2017: On Facebook, Johnson criticized the #MeToo Movement, claiming it had “created villains that are not guilty of anything.
- September 10, 2012: Johnson spoke negatively of a teacher strike, calling participants “fatties that could use the exercise.”
People of color
- July 17, 2015: Following a terrorist attack in Tennessee, Johnson called the attacker a “POS Muslim” who “is now discovering the 70 virgins thing was a hoax.”
- August 8, 2015: In response to a post about the increased likelihood of black males being shot and killed by police, Johnson suggested “they should rethink their lives of crime.”
- April 17, 2014: Johnson posed a question about free speech asking if he has free speech, why can’t he say “homosexuality is wrong?” While he is correct that free speech allows him to say such things without fear of arrest, protection under the first amendment doesn’t mean voters can’t reject such statements by voting for someone else.
- February 4, 2012: Johnson spoke ill of the LGBTQ community, calling them thin skinned and claiming they needed to get over themselves. It is unclear what this is in response to.
- July 28, 2012: Mr. Johnson posted a string of tweets expressing support for Chick-fil-a which, at the time, was receiving a lot of backlash for their stance against same-sex marriage.
With no actual profile picture (other than a plaque that reads “if you haven’t grown up by 50, you don’t have to”) and no indication of a name, how can one be so sure this is indeed Republican Candidate for HD 31, Fred Johnson making these statements? For one, he listed the handle on his Declaration of Candidacy form.
And in a tweet from April of 2016, he disclosed his identity. His bio also confirms he is a candidate for house of representatives in Utah.
We believe all candidates should exemplify Utah values and honorably represent all of their constituents regardless of their differences. Fred Johnson has expressed views that do not reflect these values. We encourage the voters of House District 31 to keep these things in mind when they take to the polls in November.