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Meet Marc Johnson

By Brian M. Rosenthal,

When candidates running for political office talk about change, they usually are referring to sacking the politician holding the office they are seeking. But it just so happens that when incumbents leave, they take a lot of other people with them.

And so when Republicans cruised to historic victories in the 2010 midterm elections, some 1,300 Democratic staffers lost their jobs. While that turnover is common, one thing was different this time around: Due to the recession and diminishing state budgets, many of those former Hill staffers were unable to find other jobs.

One of those is Marc Johnson, a 36-year-old from Ashburn, Va., who has been unemployed for seven months.

“It hurts a lot,” Marc wrote in response to a Post article asking the unemployed to share their stories. “It's like all of my experience and hard work is for nothing.”

Marc and his wife, Alicia, have been able to scrape by – so far – on her salary as a customer service employee, his unemployment benefits and help from both of their families. But the setup got a little tougher in February when the couple welcomed their first child.

“The hardest part – I became a first time father in February, 2011, to a beautiful baby girl, but I don't have the money to support her,” Johnson said. “That has been very difficult.”

rosenthalb@washpost.com

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