Johnston, Shawn T.

District towns: Killingly, Putnam, Thompson

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Election history: A Republican held this seat until Johnston’s election in 1994. Since then, the GOP has had two strategies for dealing with Johnston: Some years they cross-endorse him; others they just don’t oppose him. In 2008, Johnston the Democrat outpolled himself on the Republican line, 5,345 to 3,805.

2008 general election

Shawn T. Johnston (D) 9,150 100 percent


Public financing: Johnston did not seek public financing for his campaign under the Citizens’ Election Program.

Background: Johnston, who no longer participates in House Democratic caucuses, frequently votes with the Republican minority on fiscal and business issues. In 2009, he was one of nine Democrats in the House to vote against the final budget bill and one of 23 to vote against requiring businesses to offer paid sick days. He was the only Democrat in the House to oppose his party’s two health reform bills, Sustinet and the Connecticut Health Care Partnership Act.

His brother is Kevin Johnston, the Democrat state auditor and a former member of the House and Senate.

Committees: Commerce, Executive and Legislative Nominations, Human Services.

Education: A.A., Quinebaug Valley Community College; B.A., Nichols College

Occupation: Meter reader, Connecticut Light & Power.

2008 Financial Disclosure: CL&P was the only outside source of income Johnston reported.  A family real estate business, Johnston & Associates, reported a loss. He and his wife, Rachael Johnston, own a home in Thompson, a commercial building in Thompson and a cottage in the Dayville section of Killingly.

He sits on the board of directors of the Putnam Interfaith Human Services Council, which provides a food pantry and energy assistance in Northeastern Connecticut.

He owns several mutual funds and retirement accounts.

He reported owing more than $10,000 to Hometown Bank in Oxford, Mass., and to the Connecticut Student Loan Foundation and other lenders for a son’s college loans.

A note on financial disclosure: Every spring, officials are required to disclose the ownership of real estate, the source of any income exceeding $1,000 in the previous calendar year and securities worth more than $5,000.