Ruth Johnson

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Ruth Johnson
Ruth Johnson.png
Michigan Secretary of State
In office
2010 - Present
Term ends
January 2019
Years in position 5
PredecessorTerri Lynn Land (R)
Base salary$112,410
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Campaign $$785,483
Term limitsTwo terms
Prior offices
Michigan House of Representatives
1999 - 2004
High schoolWaterford Township High School
Associate'sOakland Community College
Bachelor'sOakland University
Master'sWayne State University
Date of birthJanuary 8, 1955
Place of birthNorthern Oakland County, Michigan
ProfessionSmall business owner
Office website
Ruth A. Johnson (b. January 8, 1955, in Northern Oakland County, Michigan) is the current Republican Secretary of State for Michigan. Prior to this, she was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives, representing the forty-sixth house district between 1998 and 2002.[1][2]

Johnson ran for re-election as secretary of state in the 2014 elections.[3] Ruth Johnson won the general election on November 4, 2014.


Johnson has lived in Northern Oakland County, Michigan all her life. She is a former small business owner. From 1988-1998, she served as a Commissioner of Oakland County. In that position, issues she focused on included putting prisoners to work and auditing county government to allow for more accountability.[2]

Johnson has also served in the following other roles:

  • Charter Member, Holly Area Optimists
  • Former Member, American Business Women’s Association
  • Former Member, Lake Louise and Tipsico Lake Improvement Board
  • Member, Oakland County Republican Party


  • Graduated from Waterford Township High School
  • Oakland Community College, AS
  • Oakland University, BA
  • Wayne State University, MA[2][1]

Political career

Michigan Secretary of State (2010-Present)

On April 23, 2010, she announced her candidacy for the statewide office of secretary of state, the seat being vacated by Terri Lynn Land, who was barred by state term limit laws from running for a third consecutive term in office.[4]

Johnson was elected Secretary of State in 2010. Since taking office, she has worked to increase online service by launching This allows for the completion of her department's most popular transactions online.[1]


Citizenship box on ballots

A check box on Michigan ballot applications re-confirming a voter's U.S. citizenship was added to the August 2012 primary ballots. Johnson asserted that adding the question to the ballot applications at the polling places adds extra security against potential non-citizens from casting a ballot.[5] A federal judge ruled that this question had to be removed from the November ballot applications, saying that the question would slow the voting process and is confusing to voters. Opponents of the checkbox asserted that the box violates the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.[6]

Michigan House of Representatives (1999-2004)

After serving as Oakland County Commissioner from 1988 until 1998, Johnson was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives, representing the public of the forty-sixth house district for six years. Two years after first being elected the Clerk and Register of Deeds for Oakland County, she was selected by Republican Dick DeVos to act as his running mate in the state's gubernatorial contest; Devos ultimately lost the election to Democratic incumbent Jennifer Granholm.[7]



See also: Michigan secretary of state election, 2014

Johnson ran for re-election in 2014.[8] She was uncontested in the primary and faced Democrat Godfrey Dillard and three minor party challengers in the general election. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


Secretary of State of Michigan, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRuth Johnson Incumbent 53.5% 1,649,047
     Democratic Godfrey Dillard 42.9% 1,323,004
     Libertarian James Lewis 2% 61,112
     U.S. Taxpayer Robert Gale 1.1% 34,447
     Natural Law Jason Gatties 0.4% 13,185
Total Votes 3,080,795
Election Results via Michigan Department of State.


See also: Michigan Secretary of State election, 2010
2010 Race for Secretary of State- General Election[9]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Ruth Johnson 50.7%
     Democratic Party Jocelyn Benson 45.2%
     Libertarian Party Scotty Boman 1.8%
     U.S. Taxpayers Robert Gale 1.3%
     Green Party John A. La Pietra 1.0%
Total Votes 3,173,248


2008 Race for Oakland County Clerk - General Election[11]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Ruth Johnson (R) 59.8%
Sheila Smith (D) 49.3%
Write In 0.4%
Total votes 626,430


2004 Race for Oakland County Clerk - Republican Primary[12]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Ruth Johnson (R) 56.0%
G. William Caddell (R) 44.0%
Total votes 91,028
2004 Race for Oakland County Clerk - General Election[13]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Ruth Johnson (R) 53.5%
Jason Ellenburg (D) 43.2%
Joseph Server (Libertarian) 3.3%
Total votes 577,800


2002 Race for State House, District 46 - Republican Primary[14]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Ruth Johnson (R) 69.0%
John Lauve (R) 31.0%
Total votes 5,559
2002 Race for State House, District 46 - General Election[15]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Ruth Johnson (R) 70.9%
Robert Reading (D) 29.1%
Total votes 30,448


2000 Race for State House, District 46 - General Election[17]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Ruth Johnson (R) 64.5%
Patrick Doyon (D) 30.8%
Sean Sullivan (UST) 4.7%
Total votes 45,157


1998 Race for State House, District 46 - Republican Primary[18]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Ruth Johnson (R) 40.7%
Jeff Gallant (R) 35.2%
Patricia Woods (R) 21.1%
John Lauve (R) 3.0%
Total votes 8,935
1998 Race for State House, District 46 - General Election[19]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Ruth Johnson (R) 67.5%
Roxanne La Montaine (D) 26.6%
Mark Carney (Libertarian) 5.9%
Total votes 32,186

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Johnson is available dating back to 1998. Based on available campaign finance records, Johnson raised a total of $785,483 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 12, 2013.[20]

Ruth Johnson's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Michigan Secretary of State Not up for election $187,413
2010 Michigan Secretary of State Won $388,034
2006 Lieutenant Governor of Michigan Defeated $0
2002 Michigan State House District 46 Won $107,589
2000 Michigan State House District 46 Won $19,000
1998 Michigan State House District 46 Won $83,447
Grand Total Raised $785,483

1998-2002 and 2010

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Ruth Johnson's donors each year.[21] Click [show] for more information.


Johnson currently resides in Holly, Michigan with her husband, Don Nanney, and their daughter, Emily.[2]

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Contact Information


Capitol Address:
Michigan Department of State
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, MI 48918

Toll Free Phone: (888) 767-6424

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Project Vote Smart, "Biography" accessed October 9, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Michigan Secretary of State Office, "Biography" accessed October 9, 2012
  3. Ruth Johnson for Michigan, "News," accessed August 5, 2014
  4. Crain's Detroit Business, "Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson joins secretary of state field" 23 April, 2010
  5. Michigan Live Secretary of State Ruth Johnson won't appeal citizenship ruling in time for November election, October 10, 2012
  6. Michigan Radio Federal judge orders removal of citizenship checkbox on Michigan ballot, October 5, 2012
  7. Michigan Liberal, "Ruth Johnson to be Amway Guy's running mate" 14 Aug. 2006
  8. Governing, Michigan Governor Announces Re-election Bid, Despite Controversies, February 4, 2014
  9. Michigan Department of State - 2010 General Election Results
  10. Oakland County Clerk - 2008 Primary Election Results (timed out)
  11. Oakland County Clerk - 2008 General Election Results
  12. Oakland County Clerk - 2004 Primary Election Results
  13. Oakland County Clerk - 2004 General Election Results
  14. Department of State - 2002 Primary Election Results
  15. Department of State - 2002 General Election Results
  16. Department of State - 2000 Primary Election Results
  17. Department of State - 2000 General Election Results
  18. Department of State - 1998 Primary Election Results
  19. Department of State - 1998 General Election Results
  20. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Ruth Johnson," accessed July 12, 2013
  21. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015

Political offices
Preceded by
Terri Lynn Land (R)
Michigan Secretary of State
Succeeded by