CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. — Condolences are pouring in from North Carolina lawmakers over the passing of Representative Linda P. Johnson (R-Cabarrus). She was 74.
Members of the N.C. Republican House Caucus released a statement Tuesday saying, "Rep. Johnson’s career was one marked by significant achievements and accomplishments that impacted every North Carolinian, but what she was most proud of was the work she did to improve the lives of her constituents and empowering women to run for office. Rep. Johnson’s deep compassion and desire to serve will be greatly missed."
Johnson was currently serving her 10th term as a representative in the North Carolina General Assembly. The computer analyst from Kannapolis was elected to represent the 82nd District during the 2018 election, and was sworn into office on January 9, 2019.
Johnson was also chairwoman on the Senior House Appropriations Committee. Fellow chairs issued their condolences in the following statements Wednesday afternoon:
"Rep. Johnson's spirit and enthusiasm will be missed in the General Assembly. She was a fierce advocate for education and never lost her focus amid even the most stressful budget negotiations," Sen. Berger said.
"Rep. Johnson was a relentless fighter and supporter of youth programs and education. She was always looking for different ways to tackle those issues," Senior Appropriations Chairman Sen. Harry Brown (R-Onslow) said. "If not for her, I don't know if the David H. Murdock Research Institute in Kannapolis would have been funded."
Appropriations Chairman Brent Jackson (R-Sampson) said, "Rep. Johnson was a very special lady and a dear friend. She fought tooth and nail for everything she could get for education. She was a tough negotiator, but she always had fun doing it."
"Rep. Johnson was as hardworking and passionate as they came. She was gracious and encouraging but knew when to stand her ground, especially on education issues," Appropriations Chairwoman Sen. Kathy Harrington (R-Gaston) said. "Her quick wit and intelligence will be missed."
Prior to the 2018 election, Johnson spent several years in the general assembly representing Districts 83, 74, and 90.
In April of last year, Johnson and her husband Ronnie unexpectedly lost their son Ben at the age of 45.
According to a post by her legislative assistant, Rhonda Todd, on the CaringBridge website, Johnson recently suffered a stroke and was suffering from complications associated with high blood pressure, cancer, and tumors on her brain.
The exact cause of Johnson's death has not been released.
Governor Cooper on Wednesday ordered all U.S. and N.C. flags at state facilities to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Friday, February 21 in honor of Johnson.