Under the Dome

Washington veteran named McCrory’s federal liaison

Virginia Johnson, a Republican who lost to former U.S. Rep. Brad Miller in 2004, will be the governor’s new federal liason.

Johnson, a Reidsville native with extensive experience in Washington, assumes the title of director of federal relations, Gov. Pat McCrory’s office announced Wednesday.

She will be McCrory’s “chief advocate” in the nation’s capital, the announcement says. Johnson will be paid $140,000 a year in her new job.

Johnson is a Duke University grad who earned a law degree from Wake Forest University. She has worked as a law clerk for federal bankruptcy court in Greensboro, and in private practice in Washington, D.C., in real estate planning and tax law.

She has worked on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Ethics Committee and was chief of staff to Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Michigan. She was a deputy assistant secretary of defense under Secretary Robert Gates. She was also a high-ranking official with the American Red Cross.

While living in Greensboro, Johnson defeated Graham Boyd, an executive with a tobacco lobbying group, for the Republican nomination for the 13th Congressional District, but was unable to unseat Miller in the general election.