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State Senator David Johnson (I-Ocheydan) announced on Thursday that he will not seek re-election to a fifth term. Johnson, who represents Iowa Senate District 1, left the Republican Party after President Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination.

After 18 years as a Republican lawmaker, he announced, “That makes him the leader of the party, a fact I cannot in good conscience accept in silence. We cannot serve two masters.”

“First and foremost, I want to thank all of those who supported my efforts to shine a spotlight on how polarized and partisan the political process has become,” Johnson said. “As a private citizen, I will find a place to be an advocate for education, the environment, access to health care, and fiscal responsibility.”

Re-election as an independent in the heavily Republican district was going to be a long-shot as there are almost as many registered Republican voters as there are registered Democrat and “No Party” voters combined.

Johnson this session had votes that were likely out-of-step with much of his constituency such as, voting no on the Keep and Bear Arms amendment. He also voted against the sanctuary city and county ban that is now law. He was known as a consistent pro-life vote, but moderate on many other issues.

Republican voters in the district this Tuesday will choose between Zach Whiting, Brad Price, and Jesse Wolfe. The winner of that primary will likely be the district’s next State Senator moving the seat back into Republican hands. Democrats or Libertarians will have to nominate a candidate by a special nominating convention in order to mount a challenge during the general election as neither party had a candidate file for the primary.

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