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Johnson, C. Montgomery (Charles Montgomery). NWDA

 
 

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Biographical History

Charles Montgomery Johnson—"Gummie" to friends—attended the University of Washington, where he was elected president of its Associated Students organization (A.S.U.W.) in 1946. He graduated with a master's degree in forestry in 1950. Johnson worked in public relations for the Washington Education Association and for Weyerhaeuser, a forest products company, during the 1950s and early 1960s, then directed Dan Evans's successful 1964 campaign for governor of Washington State. He served as the first full-time chairman of the Washington State Republican Central Committee from 1964 to 1971, during which time he was also an executive member of the Republican National Committee.

In 1965 Johnson participated in a purge of John Birch Society members from the state Republican Party. In a newspaper article Johnson commented on his party’s expulsion of this extremist group: "We had to make the term 'conservative' respectable again. The only way to do it was to get the far-right off the backs of conservatives. The Republican Party is not the far-right."

Johnson founded the political consulting firm C. Montgomery Johnson Associates in 1971, in partnership with his wife, Ann Quantock. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he worked as a consultant on a variety of campaigns, such as Democratic governor Dixy Lee Ray’s unsuccessful bid for reelection in 1980. His work on regional and national issues included abortion rights, limiting government expenditures, and Indian hunting and fishing rights. From 1990 to 1991, Johnson wrote a guest column for the Port Townsend Jefferson County Leader.

From the finding aid for C. Montgomery Johnson Papers 1942-1994 1964-1980 (University of Washington Libraries Special Collections)

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