Dan Johnson

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

The widow of a state lawmaker who killed himself late last year will not run in this year’s primary or general elections to fill her husband’s vacant seat.

Rebecca Johnson announced her candidacy the day after the death of her husband Rep. Dan Johnson, a pastor from Bullitt County, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in December.

Days before, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting began publishing a five-part series of Johnson detailing years of deceptive behavior, alleged arson and the alleged sexual assault of a minor.

The wife of Kentucky state Rep. Dan Johnson, who killed himself last year amid allegations of sexual assault, has lost a bid to succeed her late husband. The special election returned the seat to Linda Belcher, whom Dan Johnson had unseated.

J. Tyler Franklin

State Rep. Dan Johnson’s wife will face his former opponent in the special election to fill the seat left vacant after Johnson’s death.

Rebecca Johnson was selected by the Republican Party of Bullitt County to be the GOP nominee in the special election, according to Karen Johnson, a member of the county committee that cast votes Thursday night to select a candidate.

The special election is set for February 20.

Ryland Barton

Kentucky state Rep. Dan Johnson was buried Monday, several days after he killed himself in Bullitt County.

As friends and family gathered at the Heart of Fire Church in Louisville’s Fern Creek neighborhood, the front lawn became a parking lot to accommodate hundreds of Johnson’s mourners, many of whom rode in on motorcycles.


Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson’s suicide following sexual assault allegations has sent Frankfort reeling.

Johnson, a Republican from Mt. Washington, fatally shot himself next to a bridge in a rural area Wednesday evening after posting an apparent suicide note on Facebook.

Earlier in the week, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published an expose of Johnson’s life, including years of deceptive claims, alleged criminal activity and accusations from a woman who says Johnson assaulted her in 2013 when she was 17 years-old.

Kentucky Lawmaker's Wife Wants to Replace Him

Dec 14, 2017
J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

The wife of a Kentucky lawmaker who killed himself after a sexual assault allegation surfaced this week defended her husband Thursday and said she will run for his seat because “these high-tech lynchings based on lies and half-truths can’t be allowed to win the day.”

In a statement a day after Dan Johnson’s suicide, Rebecca Johnson said she has been fighting behind her husband for 30 years and “his fight will go on.”

“Dan is gone but the story of his life is far from over,” she said.

J. Tyler Franklin

State Rep. Dan Johnson committed suicide Wednesday evening, two days after the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published accusations that he sexually assaulted a minor.

Johnson was a preacher from Mt. Washington in Bullitt County. He shot himself on a bridge over the Salt River, according to WDRB.

Johnson posted a suicide note on Facebook Wednesday evening calling the accusations false and telling conservatives to “take a stand.”

LRC Public Information

The Louisville Metro Police Department is investigating State Rep. Dan Johnson for alleged sexual abuse in his church.

Johnson, a freshman lawmaker and pastor of Heart of Fire Church in the Fern Creek neighborhood, allegedly molested a 17-year-old girl on Jan. 1, 2013.

Police initially opened an investigation in April 2013, but closed it months later without ever interviewing Johnson, documents show. Johnson, while refusing calls for his resignation from leaders of both political parties, denied the sexual abuse allegation in a press conference Tuesday morning.

Ryland Barton

Kentucky Rep. Dan Johnson refused to resign Tuesday morning and said an allegation that he sexually assaulted a teenager “has no merit.”

Johnson, speaking at a news conference at his Heart of Fire Church in Fern Creek, denied ever committing arson or molesting a then-17-year-old member of his church in 2013. He implied that the story by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting was motivated by funding sources to NPR and that the allegations were about politics.

“This allegation concerning this lady, this young girl, absolutely has no merit,” Johnson said. “These are unfounded accusations, totally.”


A Republican state representative from Bullitt County has been accused of sexually abusing a girl in his church, among other misdeeds, in a new investigative report from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and Louisville Public Media.

Rep. Dan Johnson, a preacher and freshman lawmaker from Mt. Washington, had yet to respond to the allegations as of noon Monday. A receptionist at his legislative office said he was not available.