GOP candidate previously disavowed by party cited for keeping pet alligator in 2013

10/14/2016 08:14 PM

Republican candidate Dan Johnson is no stranger to controversy, the 49th District House candidate recently made national headlines for racially charged social media posts, but upon looking further at his past it seems he’s also kept some strange pets.

Amos Moses, a Louisiana alligator, was removed from Johnson’s property in 2013 after the GOP candidate was cited by Kentucky Fish & Wildlife.

The 2013 citation obtained by Pure Politics reads, “Above subject had an alligator in a metal tub outside his house. He does not have a permit for the animal and alligators are prohibited in the state of Kentucky.”

Moses gets his name from the Jerry Reed song, with lyrics that include, “the Louisiana law’s gonna get you Amos.” Looking back on the name, Johnson pondered that perhaps the name is apropos.

“It was a pet that I had, and I did not know that it was something that was illegal to own,” he said in a phone interview. “It drew a lot of attention it drew a lot of laughs.”

Part of that attention was garnered on the back of Johnson’s Harley Davidson motorcycle.

“My (Harley Davidson) Road King and I, along with Amos Moses — I strapped Amos Moses to the bike a few times and road him around. Of course, I had to put electric tape around his mouth or he wouldn’t bite me, but you talk about attention — an alligator on the back of a bike will get people’s attention,” he said.

The 2013 citation for possessing the alligator was later dismissed in Bullitt County District Court, and Johnson said Amos Moses now lives in the Louisville Zoo. The citation does not list how large the alligator was at the time, but Johnson said it was around 36 inches.

This alligator incident, along with the racially charged online postings which caused the Republican Party to publicly disavow the candidate, has the Democratic Party questioning Johnson’s fitness to represent the people of the 49th House District in Frankfort.

“His lack of judgment is amazing,” KDP spokesperson Daniel Lowry said.“First it was racist and sexist social media posts, now we find out he’s been riding around with an alligator strapped to his bike.

“There is no end to the disturbing things we are learning about this candidate,” Lowry continued. “It’s no wonder both Republicans and Democrats alike are asking for him to withdraw from the race.”

Johnson faces Rep. Linda Belcher, D-Shepherdsville, in the Nov. 8 election.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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