The story in the Reporter last week announcing David Johnson will not seek reelection after 16 years serving in the Iowa Senate left me with mixed emotions. I was a loyal supporter throughout his first three terms lauding him for his strong support for Birthright, (an organization strongly opposing abortion) his allegiance to his Roman Catholic faith and quite willing to help me, and many others, with matters dealing with the Legislature. In fact several times, on his weekly trips to Des Moines when the legislature was in session, he would stop in for a few minutes of chit-chat keeping me informed of what was happening in the Legislature.
Four years ago I asked for his help in our battle against RICL. This out of state private company (Clean Line) wanted to erect a transmission line to transmit electricity from O'Brien County wind turbines (not erected) to Chicago. This proposed line cut through the center of many farms, including mine, and, since most of us wouldn't sell, would require widespread use of eminent domain by a private company. David thought this was OK – certainly not the position of a conservative.
In fact, since some of his colleagues from newspaper days were quite surprised he started his political career as a conservative Republican, I would suggest he is, and always was, a closet Democrat as evidenced by his behavior since resigning from the Republican Party. The nomination of Donald Trump was cited by Johnson as his reason for the switch, but it was merely an excuse so the "real" David could "spread his wings!"
Contrary to the "new" David who was always "in your face" about everything, he, rather than fight, just simply quit! Suggesting he didn't "want to give Republicans the satisfaction of unseating him" as a reason for "withdrawing" was an understatement. If he did continue, he would have received a good old-fashioned "whuppin'!"
Jerry Crew, Webb