Salt Lake City, UT – For years, Fred Johnson, the Republican candidate for House District 31, has made reprehensible posts on social media toward women, teachers, black men, the LGBTQ community, and other. After unearthing the comments on Facebook and Twitter, Alliance for a Better Utah is now calling him out and questioning whether Johnson could fairly represent the residents of the West Valley City area. A collection of screenshots can be found here and in the attached document.
Following are some of the statements on his social media feed:
- In response to allegations of sexual assault against a former MTC president: “Can you say ‘psycho gold digger’?” (Twitter, @outlowd, 3/21/18)
- In response to an image of the Women’s March: “As usual, when pigs get together they leave a mess for someone else to clean up.” (Twitter, @outlowd, 1/28/18)
- In response to a Washington Post article about unarmed black men being more likely than whites to die by police gunfire: “Maybe they should rethink their lives of crime.” (Twitter, @outlowd, 8/8/15)
- “The LGBT community has a thin skin. It was a joke! Get over yourselves.” (Twitter, @outlowd, 2/4/14)
- “Did you see the striking teachers video? Looks like most of those fatties can use the exercise.” (Twitter, @outlowd, 9/10/12)
Johnson included his twitter handle, @outlowd, on his declaration of candidacy form, and in 2016 he posted a tweet revealing it was indeed him using the profile.
Better Utah Communications Director, Katie Matheson issued the following statement:
“Civic engagement by an informed citizenry is vital to the wellbeing of democracy. With ballots already out and election day fast approaching, we believe it is incumbent on us to inform the voting public, especially those residing in House District 31 (West Valley City), of the offensive viewpoints expressed by Mr. Johnson.
“It’s disheartening that any Utahn would hold these views about members of their own community, but to see a candidate for public office unabashedly expressing these offensive sentiments is abhorrent. Many of the communities Johnson has denigrated over the years live in the district he is running to represent. We question whether a politician with such hurtful beliefs about his own constituents would be able to truly represent the will of the people.”
Alliance for a Better Utah is a good government advocacy and watchdog organization based in Salt Lake City. The organization works to improve the lives of all Utahns by ensuring balance, transparency, and accountability in Utah politics, policy, and government.