David Johnson (Iowa politician)

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David J. Johnson
David Johnson 86thGA.jpeg
Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 1st district
3rd (2003-2011)
In office
January 13, 2003 – January 7, 2019
Preceded byKenneth Veenstra
Member of the Iowa House of Representatives
from the 6th district
In office
January 13, 1997 – January 13, 2003
Preceded byRichard Van de Hoef
Succeeded byGreg Stevens
Personal details
Born1950 (age 68–69)
West Branch, Iowa, U.S.
Political partyRepublican (until 2016)
Independent (2016–present)
ResidenceOcheyedan, Iowa, U.S.
Alma materBeloit College
OccupationDairy farmer
WebsiteJohnson's website

David Johnson (born 1950) is the Iowa State Senator from the 1st District and is an assistant minority leader.[1] A former Republican and currently independent,[2] he has served in the Iowa Senate since 2003 and served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1999–2003. He received his B.A. in History from Beloit College.

Johnson currently serves on several committees in the Iowa Senate – the Appropriations committee; the Education committee; the Human Resources committee; the Natural Resources committee; and the Agriculture committee, where he is the ranking member. He also serves as the ranking member of the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee.

2006 election[edit]

In his 2006 bid for re-election Johnson received 12,328 votes (57%), defeating Democratic opponent Mel Berryhill.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Johnson was born and raised in West Branch, Iowa and graduated from West Branch High School. He then went on to obtain his B.A. in history from Beloit College in Wisconsin.[4]


Johnson in 2008

After graduating college, he went on three scientific expeditions. For all three trips to Antarctica and the Arctic, he was the camp manager. Outside politics, Johnson works on an Osceola County dairy farm. He then went on to become a newspaper publisher and editor where he won a number of awards for his work in journalism. For several years he served as president of the Chamber of Commerce.[4]

In July 2015, upon receiving an email from a teacher asking for him to reconsider his stance on an education vote, Senator Johnson wrote "quit whining".[5]

In June 2016, Johnson changed his party affiliation to "No Party", citing his opposition to the Republican Party's support for U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. He stated, "Many of the voters who elected me are supporting Mr. Trump. I respect that, but disagree that he is qualified to lead the nation and the free world."[2][6]

Awards and honors[edit]

Johnson has won a number of awards from the following:

  • Distinguished Service Award
  • Iowa Newspaper Association
  • Iowa FFA and Iowa High School Football Coaches Association
  • Legislator of the Year
  • Iowa Izaak Walton League
  • Iowa Agribusiness Association
  • Iowa Biotechnology Association and Iowa Safe Kids Coalition
  • Guardian of Small Business Award — National Federation of Independent Business
  • Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities
  • Iowa Health Care Association
  • Iowa Dental Association[4]


  1. ^ "State Senator". Iowa Legislative Services Agency. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b Petroski, William (June 7, 2016). "Iowa GOP lawmaker dumps party to protest Trump". Des Moines Register.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2011-09-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b c "David Johnson". Iowa Senate Republican Caucus. Archived from the original on 23 May 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  5. ^ http://qctimes.com/news/local/education/iowa-state-senator-to-waterloo-teacher-quit-whining/article_fecb8373-47f3-5202-96cc-c70352cbcf73.html
  6. ^ Jacobs, Ben (June 7, 2016). "Iowa state senator is first elected official to leave Republican party over Trump". The Guardian.

External links[edit]

Iowa House of Representatives
Preceded by
Richard Van de Hoef
6th District
1999 – 2003
Succeeded by
Greg Stevens
Iowa Senate
Preceded by
Kenneth Veenstra
3rd District
2003 – present
Succeeded by