Speaker Mike Johnson, Lousiana Gov.-Elect Jeff Landry, the Hon. Steve Southerland, and the Hon. Tom Graves at the 2023 Landry Alligator Hunt.

Who is Rep. Mike Johnson?

Who is Rep. Mike Johnson?

That’s the most common question I’ve received since the House voted for Mike to become Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Following yesterday’s historic vote, I wanted to provide some insight into Mike, the person, who’s been an encouragement to me and a supportive friend of mine since his time in Congress.

He and I have spent time together at alligator hunts, caucus meetings, strategy meetings and more.  He supported my efforts to move all 12 appropriations bills through the House and with the same enthusiasm, encouraged the success of the Modernization Committee led by Democrat Derek Kilmer. But nothing stands out more to me than his sincere outreach when my son was critically injured a few years back.

While our congressional careers overlapped only a few terms before my retirement, Mike left a refreshing and hopeful impression on me.  This was a time when Congress was just beginning to show the frays of unraveling.  Mike, being an American idealist and a believer in the institution itself, intuitively worked to slow the unraveling in the ways that he knew best.  As an articulate southern lawyer with an infectious smile and quick wit, he projected a thoughtful, respectful, and hopeful attitude each day.  His conservative, constitutional beliefs weren’t blinders that shielded him from listening to others with different points of view or accepting a person for who they were or what they believed.  He used each opportunity to persuade or to have an impact versus playing politics or casting insults.

There will be lot of DC talk about who is the best fundraiser or has the most “leadership” experience.  While that may be important to some folks, recent history has shown that’s not what needs fixing.  Because the House has elected Mike Johnson as Speaker, I’m hopeful that it will be on a path of restoration, healing, trust, and ultimately governing again.

More formally, Mike is in his fourth term in Congress after being elected in 2016. He had previously served in the Louisiana legislature and is a skilled constitutional lawyer. He’s perhaps best known in the House for his work on the Judiciary Committee during the 2020 presidential impeachment hearings. He currently chairs the subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government.

Something you may not know about Mike is that he’s also a member of the Armed Services Committee, serving on the Readiness and Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittees.

Mike is also a leader amongst Republicans. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the conference and was previously Chair of the Republican Study Committee, the largest ideological caucus in Congress on either side of the aisle.

I’m proud to call Mike a friend and look forward to supporting him as Speaker of the House.




This was a letter authored by the Honorable Tom Graves, President and CEO of the Ervin Graves Strategy Group team. If we can assist your organization or answer any questions about the above insights, please contact tim.baker@ervingraves.com.

EGSG is a full-service consulting and government relations firm that works with a broad range of businesses across every sector. Specializing in federal and state government affairs, strategic communication, coalition building and the congressional spending process, EGSG has a tradition of success that began in 1987.