Graduate of the Week: Raymond Johnson, a Political Newcomer’s Path to Victory
July 5, 2011 | By Lauren Hart and Mariya Swella
July 5, 2011, Arlington, VA— Despite having no political family connections or a deep-pocket money purse, Raymond Johnson has shaped political campaigns in Northeast Florida in a very tangible way.
He started Campaign Consulting Enterprises, LLC, a company that seeks to place Christian conservatives in public office, and has launched Biblical Concepts Ministries, a non-profit Christian ministry that teaches Biblical concepts of government in church and political groups nationally. Raymond also serves as the Northeast Florida chairman of United Christians of Florida, a statewide PAC.
Raymond, like many other Americans, got involved in politics during the transition from the Bush Administration to the Obama Administration. Raymond recalls, “As a conservative Christian I saw the need to involve more Christians in the process and elect Christians to office.” Since completing the Leadership Institute’s Campaign Manager School in 2008, he has won 4 of 7 campaigns he’s worked on.
Raymond worked on Matt Schellenberg’s campaign for city council district 6 in Jacksonville, FL and says, “I credit LI for teaching me the needed skills applied to defeat our sitting city council president here in Jacksonville, FL.”
Mr. Schellenberg ran against the incumbent city council president Jack Webb and won by a 6-point margin with just a difference of 1,005 votes. “I assumed the role of field and faith-based director for Schellenberg’s campaign and applied some unique strategies, some of which I learned from LI [at their Grassroots Activist School in December 2009].”
Raymond says, “During this campaign I actually experienced a situation discussed at LI. The campaign coordinator of our opponent—council president Jack Webb—was caught in the act of stealing our commercial campaign signs and dumping them in a retention pond. I was able to draw from the LI school as I knew catching a suspect and getting media coverage was a must.”
“I was able to find a witness, get the witness to file a witness statement in addition to the police report, and get the witness to tell his story to the media. We had several stories aired and one written,” Raymond said.
Raymond prides himself on assisting conservative Christian candidates. He works a faith-based outreach campaign that allows him to reach out to churches and Christians in the state of Florida to endorse these candidates.
To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate you know for Graduate of the Week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.