One man stood out among the sign wavers at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in East Lake on Tuesday afternoon. He caught the eye of many voters waiting in a line that wrapped halfway around the church, which no doubt was his intent.
Johnny Johnson walked calmly around the parking lot carrying a sign for the two Pinellas County Commission candidates that he supports: Janet Long and Charlie Justice. The pediatric dentist of 30 years also wore a giant stuffed fabric tooth attached to his chest.
He says he's never done anything like this before. "This is the first time I've ever been politically involved in my life," he said.
Johnson is fuming because Pinellas County Commissioners voted to remove fluoride from the the county's drinking water.
"It is the most ignorant, asinine decision that was ever made," Johnson said emphatically.
"It hurts the county's kids, the poorest of all. Everybody loses the benefits of fluoride, which is a 25 percent cavity reduction over your lifetime, just by drinking the fluoridated water at the right levels. I have been animatedly opposed to the ignorance that went into the decision to do so."
Johnson, who lives in East Lake but has his dental practice in Palm Harbor, is hoping that other Pinellas County citizens will agree with him and vote incumbents Nancy Bostock and Neil Brickfield out of office, replacing them with Long and Justice.
"The Organized Dental Associations of Pinellas County are supporting the two candidates that will absolutely put fluoride back in to the water on the first day that the county commission meets in January. The two that they are running against are anti-fluoride and would not change their vote this past year," he said.
Johnson was planning on campaigning for his cause until the early evening, in what would be a long day. He arrived at the church with his giant tooth after he finished jury duty earlier in the day.
Palm Harbor Dentist's Billboard Supports Fluoride in Water Supply