Small business owner announces run for Appleton mayor

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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) – A second person has announced their candidacy for Appleton mayor in next April’s election. Dana Johnson, is a small business owner who grew up in a rural Wisconsin community and moved to Appleton six years ago.

Johnson owns MOOD Salon in Appleton.

He follows Chad Doran who announced his candidacy earlier this month.

In October, long-time mayor Tim Hanna said he wouldn't seek a seventh term.

“I think that Appleton needs a proven leader to continue its prosperity and innovation for the future. And I think that I'm someone who's excellent at working across collaboration with small business leaders, organizations, people and really, essentially looking forward to move Appleton forward and grow," said Johnson.

Johnson said he has worked in hospitals, nursing homes, and community settings as a social worker. His primary work has been as an educator in the Social Work Professional Program at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and as a manager and Director of Human Services.

“Residents of Appleton are the platform for which I run; bringing their concerns to the forefront of every decision and initiative in managing the city. I will be the Mayor that listens to what matters most to you,” said Johnson. “People can expect that I'm passionate about innovation, being heart forward and really looking at building off of what Mayor Tim Hanna's initiatives were and then essentially keeping what's really the best in those and then looking to improve some of the other areas. What they can expect, is a person that is going to be real, who is going to, you know, be authentic, someone that they can trust and really looking at how we can foster and drive commerce and culture in our city.”

“I think the one thing that might set me apart besides being a small business owner, is I'm part of the LGBTQ plus community. So I do identify and I'm an open gay candidate," said Johnson. "I think that what we have seen, particularly in Appleton is we have a diverse community. And a lot of times diversity and the idea of moving that conversation forward sometimes comes under attack. And I think it's important to say there's a place at the table and we need to keep that conversation going. And as a person who has persevered through some tough times in their life because of, you know, my identity status. It has, it has made me that person that can bring people to the table that talk about it and talk about difficult things, and then really kind of push the idea that we can be inclusive without sacrificing all of our other belief systems.”