Robert Johnson (Arkansas politician)

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Robert Baxter "Bob" Johnson

Arkansas State Representative
for District 42 (Pulaski County)
In office
January 2015 – January 2019
Preceded by Mark W. Perry
Succeeded by Mark W. Perry

Mayor of Jacksonville, Arkansas
Assumed office 
Preceded by Gary Fletcher

Born August 1, 1953
Jacksonville, Arkansas
Nationality American
Political party Republican-turned-Democrat (2013)
Spouse(s) Laurie Anne Johnson
Children Five children

Dr. and Mrs. J. Albert Johnson

Residence Jacksonville, Arkansas, USA
Alma mater University of Central Arkansas
University of Arkansas (Fayetteville)
Occupation Certified Public Accountant
Former Pulaski County Justice of the peace
Religion Southern Baptist

Robert Baxter Johnson, known as Bob Johnson (born August 1, 1953),[1] is the mayor of Jacksonville, Arkansas, and a former state representative for District 42 in a portion of Pulaski County outside the capital city of Little Rock.[2]


Johnson is a son of Dr. and Mrs. J Albert Johnson of Jacksonville. A 1971 graduate of Jacksonville High School. He is not the other Bob Johnson, a Democrat who served in both the Arkansas House from 1995 to 2000, including a term as Speaker and the state Senate from 2001 to 2011.

Bob Johnson received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway in Faulkner County and a Master of Science in accounting at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Since 1990, he has maintained an Certified Public Accounting practice in Jacksonville, where he resides with his wife, Laurie Anne Johnson (born c. 1963), and their five children, Baxter, Taylor, Aaron, Nick and Ben. He is affiliated with Rotary International, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the Chamber of Commerce, the Sertoma Club, and Ducks Unlimited. He is a member of the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville.[2]

Political life

Johnson was a lifelong Republican and served ten years as a justice of the peace in the Pulaski County Quorum Court until 2014. In 2013, he switched parties to seek the state legislative seat being vacated by the term-limited Mark W. Perry. He was unopposed for the Democratic nomination and in the November 4, 2014 general election for the House race.[3]

Johnson called himself a Moderate Republican-turned-Conservative Democrat. He criticized the majority of Arkansas legislative Republicans for their conservative positions on issues. Johnson said that his father had been a supporter of former Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, a two-term Moderate Republican who was unseated in 1970 by the strongly liberal Democrat Dale Bumpers. In making his party switch, Johnson gained the backing of Will Bond, the Democratic state chairman who had preceded Mark Perry in the District 42 House seat.[4]

Representative Johnson held these committee assignments: (1) Public Transportation (2) Aging, Children, and Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs, and (3) Joint Committee on Public Retirement and Social Security Programs.[2] In the 2015 legislative session, Johnson supported an increase in public school teacher pay but did not vote on the religious freedom legislation, House Bill 1228, offered by Republican Bob Ballinger of Carroll County.[5] The measure was revised and subsequently passed by a large margin in the House, this time supported by Johnson and signed into law in revised form, SB 975, by Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson.[6]

After he left the legislature, Johnson was elected mayor of his native Jacksonville, a position which he still holds.[7]


  1. Robert B. Johnson. Retrieved on February 12, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Bob Johnson. Retrieved on April 15, 2015; material no longer on-line.
  3. District 42. Retrieved on February 12, 2021.
  4. Max Brantley (September 6, 2013). Republican JP Bob Johnson switches parties to run for state House as Democrat. The Arkansas Times. Retrieved on February 12, 2021.
  5. Bob Johnson's Voting Records. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on February 12, 2021.
  6. "Gov. Hutchinson signs revised religious freedom bill; HB 1228 recalled," KTHV-TV (Little Rock), April 2, 2015.
  7. Arkansas Rep. Bob Johnson elected Jacksonville mayor; Sipes, Elliott win council seats. KATV-TV (December 4, 2018). Retrieved on February 12, 2021.