Brightest minds in Florida politics: David Johnson

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David Johnson has more than his fair share of recognition both in Florida and nationally for his brilliant political mind. Any list of Florida politicos would be incomplete without his inclusion.

Let’s begin about 14 years ago when Johnson was executive director for the 2001 re-election for Gov. Jeb Bush and the reapportionment of Florida following the 2000 census. Either of those roles would have kept most mortal pols busy alone, but Johnson seemed to actually gain energy through this time.

Republican fundraiser Brecht Heuchan, founder of Contribution Link, calls Johnson “the organizer.”

“Every detail and option are researched, analyzed so every contingency is prepared for,” Heuchan says. “If you were to ask his clients like Andy Gardiner about DJ, you would get the impression he was family, not a vendor.”

Johnson’s political acumen and managerial skills have proven to be instrumental in several of his high-profile accomplishments.

In 2004, Johnson worked on the John Thune for U.S. Senate campaign versus Democrat Senate Leader Tom Daschle. This ended, as is well known, with Daschle’s surprising defeat. The race had begun with Daschle holding a solid 7-point lead and ended with him down by 4,508 votes. It was the first time in 50 years that a Senate party leader lost re-election. Johnson’s role was no doubt a critical piece of this story.

“The truest form of flattery regarding a political consultant is the answer to the question: who would you hire as your top consultant if you were running for public office? My answer would be David Johnson,” says Al Cardenas, himself among one of the most esteemed minds in the process.

Johnson handled Florida Victory 2010 for the Republican Party of Florida on behalf of Marco Rubio’s federal election effort.

In 2013, Johnson was named one of “Florida’s Top Five Republican Political Influencers” by Campaigns and Elections magazine. He is the founder of the David Johnson Group and a senior consultant with Bullseye Interactive Group.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.