Democrats compete to run against Van Huss

Murphey Johnson is the second Democrat to enter the August state primary for a shot in November at Republican incumbent state Rep. Van Huss’ 6th House District seat, reports the Johnson City Press.

The 48-year-old Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate and former U.S. Navy pilot will square off against fellow Democrat John Baker in the Aug. 4 state primary. The winner will move on to challenge Van Huss in the Nov. 8 general election.

…“I’ve always been a Democrat, which is a pretty hard sell around here,” Johnson said of Washington County’s conservative base. “But I think everyone would agree: The political system is a mess, and it needs to change.

“I’m very disappointed in the performance of the incumbent, and I decided to put my name on the ballot. If nothing else, this shows the incumbent that we don’t just tacitly accept your policies.”

…Johnson has worked for the past eight years in Johnson City as a senior engineer with ShotSpotter, where he develops software programs that provide law enforcement and local governments with automated detection, location and reporting of gunshots.

…Johnson said there is blame to place on both the Republicans and Democrats, and that most of the effort — be it locally, in Nashville, or in Washington, D.C. — “causes division in the name of getting re-elected.”

“Compare it to a magician,” he said “They’re waving the right hand to distract you from the left hand. We’re being distracted while they pick your pocket.”