Johnston, 61, is a long-time resident of the county and lives in Canton. He has previously served on the Cherokee Planning and Zoning Board before being elected to the commission in 2000.
He is facing challenger Steve West of Ball Ground in the May 20 Republican primary.
Johnston said in making his formal announcement that as a CPA and unofficial financial leader on the board, he was responsible for introducing long-term financial planning to the county.
He pointed to the county’s low tax rates, saying Cherokee was the second lowest in the metro area and 11th lowest out of all 159 counties in Georgia.
Johnston said despite low taxes, the quality of services including public safety and parks and recreation, were some of the best in the state.
The candidate said he supports the county’s land use plan.
“Our land use plan allows more than adequate growth over the next 20 years, even while preserving rural densities in almost half the county’s land area,” he said in the announcement. “We all benefit from keeping the small town feel and rural countryside that attract people to the county. No growth isn’t an option, but if we stick to the land use plan, we can protect the quality of life we love and give the schools and roads a chance to keep up.”
Johnston said his plans for his next term include accelerating economic development to bring more good jobs to Cherokee and completing the voter-approved parks expansion program, while keeping taxes among the lowest in Georgia.
Johnston was originally elected to fill an unexpired term and was re-elected to a full term in 2002, 2006 and 2010.
A 48-year Canton resident, he and his wife, Rebecca, have been married for 38 years and have two grown children.
He said he is a life-long Republican, and longtime active member of the local Republican Party. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Finance and Accounting from Georgia State University.
He works as an accountant for Southern Company.
Johnston is a graduate of the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce Leadership Cherokee and past chairman of the Cherokee YMCA, where he was honored as Volunteer of the Year, he said.
He served as a Cherokee County Library Trustee and was president of the Kiwanis Club of Canton and lieutenant governor of the organization’s Georgia district. He’s a deacon, church treasurer and longtime Sunday School teacher at Heritage Baptist Fellowship.