March 16, 2022
DREW JOHNSON, CANDIDATE CLARK COUNTY COMMISSION, DISTRICT F: BIOGRAPHICAL BACKGROUND
Drew Johnson is a well-known government watchdog, columnist and public policy analyst.
As a taxpayer advocate and budget watchdog, he has exposed hundreds of billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayers’ money at all levels of government, directly leading to reduced spending and taxes.
Drew’s editorials, columns and articles have been featured in scores of newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, National Review and Forbes. He regularly provides policy insight on national and international television and radio programs. Drew has appeared on Fox News, the BBC, NPR, CNN, Showtime and Fox Business, as well as The Glenn Beck Program, Hannity with Sean Hannity and All Things Considered, among dozens of others.
Born in rural Appalachia, Drew was raised by a single mother working two jobs—at Walmart and as a maid—to care for two kids. Drew’s beloved grandmother, Wanda, cooked for the family when their refrigerator was empty and let them stay with her the times the family could not afford the electric bill and their power was cut off.
Despite struggling to make ends meet, Drew’s mom put a premium on the value of a good education. He worked his way through Belmont University, a Christian college located in Nashville. After graduating from Belmont with a degree in political science, Drew earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy.
While at Pepperdine, he worked as a research associate at the American Enterprise Institute. After graduating from Pepperdine, Drew became a research fellow at the National Taxpayers Union. While at NTU, Drew’s investigation into a failed military sponsorship program ultimately resulted in the termination of the scheme, saving taxpayers more than $200 million.
At the age of 24, without any money and living in his car for several months, Drew founded the Tennessee Center for Policy Research (now known as the Beacon Center of Tennessee), the Volunteer State’s free market state-focused think tank. Under Drew’s leadership, the organization’s work led to lower taxes for every Tennessean, expanded parental choice and a loosening of the state’s burdensome regulations on small business owners.
Drew also revolutionized the use of investigative journalism by think tanks to expose corruption and reduce waste, fraud and abuse of tax dollars. He famously uncovered that former Vice President and environmental activist Al Gore hypocritically consumes over 20 times more electricity in his home than the average American household.
After leaving the Center, Drew worked in media, becoming an editorial writer, columnist and investigative reporter at The Washington Times and, later, a regular contributor to The Daily Caller. He also served as a Senior Scholar at the Taxpayer Protection Alliance.
Eight years ago, Drew and his wife, Sarah, chose to move from Washington, D.C. to Clark County, where they own a small business.
They have been first-hand observers to the negative changes brought about by the all-Democratic Clark County Commission, which has threatened liberties, exploded the size of government, increased taxes, failed to respond adequately to the county’s housing crisis and looked the other way as crime soared.
Frustrated by the direction Clark County is headed, Drew became inspired to move from developing policy behind the scenes at think tanks and working for change through the media to becoming a candidate. He is running to replace failed Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones in Commission District F and use his experience to help voters take back Clark County.
Today, Drew serves as a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, where he researches tax and budget, technology and energy policy issues. He is also a columnist for a number of political news outlets, including Townhall and Newsmax.
Drew was named to the Nevada State Board of Optometry as the public member in 2017. He is currently serving his second term on the Board.
He previously served on the National Ethnic and Cultural Diversity Committee of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth.
Drew and Sarah live in Summerlin South with their two rescue dogs, Olive and Nola Mae. They are Vegas Golden Knights season ticket members and created the team’s beloved Victory Flamingo tradition. Avid hikers and travelers, they have visited more than 50 countries together.