Some politicians are criticized for being "career politicians". Gary Johnson is anything but a career politician. It was only after 30 years in business, 30 years of community service, and 30 years working with the Lucas County Sheriff's Office that he decided to run for elected office. He made his mark elsewhere first.
In the September 2017 Primary, Gary Johnson finished in sixth place with 8,889 votes as a first- time candidate for Toledo City Council. Concerned with holding on to his sixth place finish, Gary campaigned hard between the primary and general election. In the November 2017 General Election, Gary’s work paid off. He improved to fourth place with 21,296 votes and was the second highest Democrat vote-getter! He has shown an ability to garner votes across all party lines.
Gary was given immediate high-profile responsibilities when he was first sworn in to Toledo City Council. He was named chairman of council’s Public Safety, & Criminal Justice Reform Committee --- Experience that would serve him well as Lucas County sheriff.
But Gary also serves on these council committees:
- Education, Recreation, & Employment Committee
- Finance & Debt Oversight Committee
- Neighborhoods Community Development & Health Committee
- Regional Growth, Development & Small Business Enterprise Committee
- Streets, Public Services & Utilities Committee
- Zoning & Planning Committee
Gary Johnson is married to Maureen and they have two children Mike 32 and Keisha 22. Gary and his family reside in Toledo Ohio and are members of St Patrick’s Historical Parish.
After graduating from John Marshall High School in Cleveland, Gary went straight into business as an owner operator of a Mr. Hero franchise. Where at age 21, he was, at the time, the youngest person to ever receive a direct loan from the SBA without bank participation. Later he moved to Toledo and decided to go back to school and finish his education with a degree from the University of Toledo in Business & Technology.
For the past 15 years, Gary has found his professional life’s passion in the development and administration of his own contracting company called AFI contractors.
With sales growth of over 1000% in the last ten years. AFI has become one of the largest Flooring contractors in Northwest Ohio and one of the leaders in interior installation in the areas. AFI garnered national attention in 2014 when it was named the fastest growing company in the country by ICIC and Fortune Magazine.
Gary has also built a second career in Law Enforcement. Since 1988 Gary has worked and trained with the Lucas County Sheriff’s Reserve. This included riding in the car with employed Deputies and going on routine calls on various shifts for the first ten years of working with The Lucas County Sheriff’s Office. Gary learned very valuable law enforcement experience and was able to put to use skills learned at the police academy. Each year reservist are required to take the same training that the employed deputies take in order to remain certified. Today Gary holds the rank of lieutenant and still serves as a certified peace officer in the Lucas County Sheriff’s Reserve.
For over 35 years, Gary has served his community in various capacities such as Rotary Club of Toledo, The NW Ohio Hispanic Chamber, Latins United, Catholic Order of Foresters, NAACP, African-American Chamber, Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, as well as several boards at The University of Toledo, and The Toledo Zoo Foundation Board.
For the last seven years as an Alumni, Gary has been living his dream of fraternity, as a brother of Pi Kappa Phi, dedicating himself to the ideals of service and leadership, setting examples, providing guidance, and mentoring undergraduates as a Chapter Advisor, and now Regional Governor, at The University of Toledo.
Gary has been involved with the Lucas County Democratic Party since 1998 and has served in several positions on the executive committee and held the position as Vice Chair of the Lucas County Central Committee. From 2005- 2010, Gary served as a Democratic member of the Lucas County Board of Elections and served as a national and state delegate in 2012 and 2016.