Steve Johnson announced on Jan. 4 that he will run for re-election for Larimer County Commissioner from District 2.
Johnson has served in that office since being elected in November 2008. Prior to being elected county commissioner, Johnson represented Larimer County in the Colorado State Senate for 6 years and in the Colorado House of Representatives for 6 years.
Johnson, a Republican, has been active in local politics for over 30 years, and was a past chairman of the Larimer County Republican Party. He has also served as chair of the Larimer County Planning Commission and president of the United Way of Loveland, Berthoud and Estes Park.
He is a retired veterinarian, having practiced in Loveland for 16 years at the Allard Animal Hospital, which he purchased from former veterinarian and U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard. Johnson has also taught high school at Heritage Christian School in Fort Collins and taught chemistry as an instructor at Colorado State University.
He is a graduate of CSU and has lived in Larimer County for 33 years. He has been married to Lynette for 26 years, and they live at the south end of Horsetooth Reservoir.
Johnson believes the most critical issue facing county government is how to deliver essential services in an environment of declining resources. During his first year in office, the county government workforce has been trimmed by 47 positions, and the commissioners have directed cuts totaling 8 percent in the county’s general fund spending, while $12.7 million more has been added to the county’s reserves. These frugal fiscal practices have allowed the county to recently construct an $11 million alternative sentencing building completely from reserves, avoiding borrowing and interest costs, while dramatically reducing jail costs. The board also tasked a “lean team” group with finding greater efficiencies in county operations which will save taxpayers $20 million over the next 5 years.
Johnson says he “enjoys the constructive working relationship the commissioners have with each other and the other county elected officials. Working together and cooperatively we can serve the citizens better.” He also credits county staff for constantly looking for ways to innovate and improve.