Independent Justin Johnson drops out of 9th District race

Monday, July 21, 2008 | 6:04 p.m. CDT; updated 4:53 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Justin Johnson ended his bid as an independent candidate for the 9th Congressional District seat due to “limited support.”

Johnson, who announced his campaign earlier this summer, said he would need to collect 3,000 more signatures before next week’s filing deadline.

“I was never running to pull a 2 percent protest vote,” Johnson said in an e-mail explaining why he’s dropping out.

From his brief time on the campaign trail, Johnson said he’s seen how unsatisfied people are with the current political process. Because voters feel so disconnected, he said, they don’t have the motivation to work for change even though “the people are the only hope of reforming the system.”

Johnson has about 4,500 raw signatures, 350 short of what’s needed to get on the November ballot. Since the signatures are not yet verified, however, he said he wanted to collect closer to 7,500 signatures to account for those signatures that are illegible or those addresses that don’t match city records. In order to file, an independent candidate needs signatures equal to 2 percent of all people who voted in the last election for the 9th District.

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