Congressman Mike Johnson visits DeRidder

Micah Pickering
Leesville Daily Leader
Congressman Mike Johnson visited DeRidder on Monday.

Congressman Mike Johnson paid a special visit to DeRidder on Monday afternoon. Johnson and his staff came to remind the local community to vote. Many residents and local leaders came to meet and greet the Congressman.

Among those who came to meet were Sheriff Mark Herford, State Senator Mike Reese, District Attorney James Lestage, Tax Assessor Brent Rutherford, State Representative Chuck Owen, Leesville Mayor Rick Allen, New Llano Mayor Carolyn Todd, DeRidder Mayor Misty Clanton, and DeRidder Councilman Julian Williams, just to name a few.

Several pastors and faith leaders came out to meet Johnson as well. 

Prior to the official prayer Pastor George Glass, of Grace Church, expressed his gratitude and respect for Johnson.

Glass said: "We have a great community of faith. Mike Johnson I thank you for your commitment to faith, and all the values that you teach us about that are part of our nations principles. We respect you very much."

Sheriff Mark Herford expressed his appreciation for leaders like Congressman Johnson, Senator Reese, and Representative Owen for their support through Hurricanes Laura and Delta. 

"The last four months have been rough on Southwest Louisiana, and they [Johnson, Owen, Reese] have fought for this community," Herford said. "It is nice to have a legislative delegation that you can call and actually talk to them, and they listen."

Standing in the back of a pickup truck in the parking lot of the NAPA Auto Parts Store in DeRidder, Johnson spoke to the community. He remarked on how great it was to see so many community leaders together. 

 "Anytime you get the Mayors from Leesville and New Llano together in a parking lot in DeRidder, something good is going to happen," Johnson said in the opening of his speech. 

Johnson expressed his gratitude for all those who have supported him over the years. He noted that he was also "ready for 2020 to be over with", and remarked on how tough the chaotic year has been on the Bayou State.

Johnson expressed that President Trump has a great respect for the people of Louisiana. He noted that the President visits the state so frequently because he loves the people and shares their values. 

Johnson said: "He [Trump] really appreciates the values that we have in Louisiana, and when I ran for Congress I committed to carry those values to Washington [D.C.] and to fight for the things that we believe in."

Johnson listed some of the values that he holds dear and that he believes are in danger of being lost.

He said: "Individual freedom, limited government, rule of law, peace through strength, fiscal responsibility, free markets, human dignity, and the sanctity of every human life. These are the values that are in jeopardy right now. There are two very different visions for the country."

"He really appreciates the values that we have in Louisiana, and when I ran for Congress I committed to carry those values to Washington [D.C.] and to fight for the things that we believe in."

"Individual freedom, limited government, rule of law, peace through strength, fiscal responsibility, free markets, human dignity, and the sanctity of every human life. These are the values that are in jeopardy right now. There are two very different visions for the country."

Johnson also expressed his gratitude to President Trump and other White House Officials for their help in post hurricane recovery. 

"We are grateful to the President for giving us the 100 percent reimbursement for the first 30 days of debris removal from the storm," Johnson said.

He credits White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dr. John Fleming for being a crucial part in getting the reimbursement signed so quickly by the President. Fleming was Johnson's predecessor in Congress. Johnson noted that Fleming was able to get the necessary signatures within hours of their phone conversation regarding the reimbursement. 

Johnson closed by encouraging everyone to go out and vote.