NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 7, 2023 – Tennessee House Deputy Speaker Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville) announced today that he won’t run for re-election in 2024. Johnson’s term of office expires on Election Day, Nov. 5, 2024. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2004 and is currently one of its longest- serving members.
“I will not be a candidate for re-election to the 68th district in the Tennessee House of Representatives next year,” Johnson said. “I make this announcement with a profound sense of gratitude to the people of Montgomery County who have backed me in 10 successive campaigns over the past two decades. I am incredibly thankful for their support, friendship, and kindness. My service to the people of this district has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I will greatly miss the many friends and colleagues who have partnered with me during this time to strengthen our local communities and make Tennessee a better place to live.”
Johnson, 71, leaves the Tennessee House of Representatives after serving in several top leadership positions. These include serving as Deputy Speaker since 2020 and Speaker Pro Tempore from 2013-2018. He previously served as chairman of the Special Committee on Opioid Abuse in 2017, which passed extensive legislation to curb opioid addiction in Tennessee, and as chairman of the House committee that reapportioned Tennessee’s congressional and legislative districts in 2021. Johnson has also held leadership roles during his legislative tenure on the powerful House Finance, Ways and Means Committee, and the House Commerce Committee. Currently, Johnson serves as chairman of the House Ethics Committee.
Speaker Johnson’s primary focus while serving in the General Assembly has been improving education, strengthening benefits for military veterans, and enhancing the quality of life for Montgomery County residents.
Veterans: Johnson helped ensure funding for the Tennessee State Veterans Home in Clarksville, both as a member of the Clarksville City Council and after his election to the House of Representatives. The 108-bed facility serves Tennessee’s deserving veterans by meeting their long- term and short-term rehabilitation needs. Additionally, Speaker Johnson secured a significant grant for the Tennessee Wings of Liberty Museum to honor the legacy of service and sacrifice of all Americans who have served in the 101st Airborne Division, 5th Special Forces Group, and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at Fort Campbell.
As a member of the General Assembly’s Veterans Caucus, Johnson led the passage of numerous bills to assist veterans and their families, particularly as it relates to easing professional licensing burdens and streamlining education requirements for children of military service members upon being transferred.
Johnson was also a key advocate for the Institute for National Security and Military Studies at Austin Peay State University (APSU). The Institute provides military-focused education and works to fill the gaps in outreach to military families and military programs.
Education / APSU: In education, Johnson helped secure funding for the Health Professions Building at APSU. This state-of-the-art facility helped consolidate and improve the university’s growing health care related program to serve students better. He also helped secure state funding for APSU’s Maynard Mathematics and Computer Science Building, providing students with new educational spaces for mathematics and computer science classes. When Johnson took office in 2002, Austin Peay received over $29 million in state appropriations. The state also appropriated over $107 million alone this fiscal year for Austin Peay.
In K-12 education, Johnson was a key driver in monumental funding increases for Montgomery County Schools. When he first took office in 2002, Montgomery County Schools received $66.9 million in state funding. Appropriations have increased to $215.2 million in state funding for the county in the last fiscal year.
Montgomery County / Clarksville: Johnson has also been a pivotal leader in securing funding for other projects in Montgomery County, including the F&M Bank Arena, a massive construction project in downtown Clarksville that serves as a multi-purpose event center. Similarly, he secured funding for a recent $14 million grant to build a public parking garage in Clarksville next to the arena to alleviate downtown parking issues and revitalize the area. Finally, Johnson played a key role in obtaining funds for three new judges serving Montgomery County.
Before his election to the House of Representatives, Johnson served eight years on the Clarksville City Council. He is married to Marsha Bolen Johnson and has three children and six grandchildren.