Judi is the daughter of two non-denominational missionaries, Pastor Wade and Pat Johnson. She was born in Indiana and when she was only two months old, they moved back to her parents’ home state of Alabama. At the age of eight, Wade and Pat were called by God to the mission field, so they packed up their lives and four girls and moved to the island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean. Eight years later, they moved to St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. That was just the beginning of what would be a life of relocating and service.
After living in Florida for 11 years as an adult, Judi moved back to St Croix in 1999 with her young family. She was at her best when helping others and knew with only 50,000 residents, her work could have an impact. She started her own Property Management business in 2003, and won the Mrs. Virgin Islands crown in 2004.
That was the year her advocacy really started. She later co-founded Crime Stoppers USVI, as well as a chapter of Junior Achievement. Crime prevention and education were her passions, so she took her work to the next level and was elected to the Senate in 2012. She fought tirelessly to improve education and the quality of lives for everyone.
Judi’s husband, now-retired Colonel Jeff Buckley, served as the Chief of Staff for the Virgin Islands Air National Guard for 10 years. Upon retirement in 2014 and after her Senate run in 2015, they decided the Greenville area was where they felt most at home – so they traded the blue water for the Blue Ridge Mountains and are happy to call Taylors home.
It came as no surprise to her family when she told them she was considering running for office. Looking at the issues South Carolina is facing and learning that many lawmakers go unchallenged term after term, Judi decided she had to offer herself for service. She believes that voters deserve to have a choice in the voting booth, and promises that if you choose her, she will work hard for YOU, not the lobbyists.
Judi is ready to bring her experience and energy to the State House and fight for District 17 and the state. She is deeply committed to helping shape policy and would be honored to have the opportunity to help move District 17 and South Carolina forward.
- 2013-2015 Senator (Independent) St Croix, US Virgin Islands
- Co-Founder & Executive Director,
Junior Achievement, St Croix chapter
- Co-Founder, Board Chair & Volunteer Spokesperson,
Crime Stoppers USVI for seven years
- Two-time Small Business owner
- Neighborhood Watch Coordinator
- Leader of the Citizen Integration Team (CIT), a community group formed to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community
- Volunteer with Homeless Period Project, Greenville, SC
- Mother of Tyler (31), graduate of ICE Culinary School & University of Mass
- Mother of Keeli (26), graduate of Clemson University
- Mother of Amadeus, a chatty 8-year-old Hyacinth Macaw
- Daughter of Pastor Wade and Pat Johnson (Jacksonville, Florida)
- Sister to Dana (Simpsonville, SC) and Patti (Ponte Vedra, Florida)
- Graduated Magna Cum Laude
University of North Florida, BA in Communications