ST. GEORGE – Overstock.com chairman and Republican gubernatorial hopeful Jonathan Johnson will be holding a town hall meeting in St. George Saturday morning.
Seeking to unseat Gov. Gary Herbert, Johnson will share plans concerning education, how to gain state control of the public lands from the federal government and how to improve the state overall.
Johnson highlights his education plan on his website and focuses on the principles of “personalization” and “localization.” Education needs to cater to the needs of the individual child, according to Johnson’s plan, not tied to an outdated, one-size-fits-all system.
The plan also calls for empowering local school leaders and parents with more decision making authority.
Johnson also advocates for state control of public lands. Just as with education, he believes lands management that is closer to home is better than management directed from Washington D.C. He also believes public lands would be better preserved and cared for under state control.
In an interview with St. George News last year, Johnson described himself as a small government Republican and an individual rights Republican, adding that people are typically the ones best suited to make their own choices.
“I think the best person to make a decision for me is me,” he said. “The further away from the individual and family we get (in) decision making, the worse (it gets).”
Additional information on Johnson’s stand on education, public lands and other issues can be found on his campaign website.
The public can also hear from and meet Johnson in person at Saturday’s town hall meeting to be held at The Falls Event Center, located at 170 S. Mall Drive in St. George from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Known largely as the chairman of the board of Overstock.com, Johnson practiced law with a firm in California before moving his family back to Utah, where he became legal counsel for a software business and eventually counsel for Overstock in 2002. Since then he has served in a number of positions within the company, including its president and acting CEO.
Johnson has been with the company from its time as a startup with 18 employees to it what is now a billion-dollar business with over 1,000 employees. He’s managed big budgets and helped Overstock operate with an 18-percent margin in order to keep costumer costs low.
Now Johnson wants to bring the business principles that made Overstock successful to Utah government.
“I think bringing a business perspective and business principles to government is healthy,” Johnson said.
- When: Saturday, Feb. 13, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Where: The Falls Event Center, 170 S Mall Drive, St. George
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