|Matthew "Matt" Johnson
|Degree in IT and web development
|Online Marketing Professional
Matthew Johnson is a libertarian activist and former candidate for the DeLand City Commission, Seat 5 in 2022. He is known for his involvement with the Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) and for founding the political organization Volusia Parents for Freedom. Johnson is a resident of Volusia County, Florida, and has been actively involved in regional politics and community engagement.
Early Life and Education
Born in West Virginia, Johnson moved to Florida at a young age. He pursued a degree in IT and web development. He eventually settled in DeLand after meeting his wife, Beth. Together with their son, Gabriel, the family resides in Beth's childhood home.
Matthew Johnson is a former business owner and has established a career in online marketing. His expertise in IT and web development has served him well in this field. Additionally, he was a past member of the West Volusia Regional Chamber of Commerce, where he chaired the Marketing Committee.
Johnson became politically active around 2016. His motivation to run for public office was rooted in his concerns over the rapid overdevelopment in DeLand and the perceived erosion of its special characteristics for profit. He aimed to combat housing unaffordability and to champion the preservation of DeLand's small-town charm.
Johnson described himself as "not a politician" but rather a member of the DeLand community. His campaign for the DeLand City Commission emphasized his commitment to always being the voice of the people and addressing the overdevelopment and homelessness in the city.
Libertarian Party of Florida
Johnson serves as the Region 7 Representative for the Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF). He also holds the position of Chair of the Communications Committee for the LPF.
Volusia Parents for Freedom
In 2021, Johnson created the political organization "Volusia Parents for Freedom". The organization was formed amid Johnson's frustration with a teacher who allegedly compelled his elementary-school student to wear a mask. Volusia Parents for Freedom was vocal on its Facebook page, criticizing members of the Volusia County School Board who supported a mask mandate in schools, as well as former Superintendent Scott Fritz. The organization briefly sold T-shirts advocating various messages, one of which targeted a School Board member, Ruben Colón.
Despite its activism, Volusia Parents for Freedom did not donate any of the funds it raised to any political candidate or cause. Johnson later announced his intention to disband the organization and donate its funds to a local nonprofit.
2022 DeLand City Commission Race
In 2022, Johnson ran for the DeLand City Commission, Seat 5. He joined the race against incumbent Kevin Reid and challenger Carlos Navarro. Despite his efforts and message of representing the voice of the people, Johnson ultimately did not secure the seat.
Johnson, alongside his wife, Beth, and their son, Gabriel, cherish the small-town feel of DeLand. He often speaks about his appreciation for DeLand's diverse and rich culture, emphasizing his commitment to preserving its unique charm. In his free time, he practices karate.