The Race to 26: Johnson to run in SD 32

Craig Johnson

By Bob Eschliman


Topic A LogoThe Republican Party of Iowa’s quest for control of the Iowa Senate took another step forward last week when Heartland Acres of Independence executive director Craig Johnson announced he will run for the seat currently held by state Sen. Brian Schoenjahn (D-Arlington).

“I am seeking election to serve the citizens of Iowa Senate District 32,” said Johnson, a Republican. “I am running because I believe we can do better in the management of government rather than government running us. Effective and efficient government allows for freedom of people to be the best they can be with as little government interference as possible.”

Born and raised in Independence, where he is a past Citizen of the Year, Johnson brings a diverse background, which includes working in the construction, manufacturing, financial securities and insurance industries, to the race. Serving as executive director at Heartland Acres, he manages the budget for a multi-million dollar campus.

“Iowans deserve the best representation in government, and I am offering my extensive background as a means to serve in our Iowa Senate,” Johnson said.

Senate District 32 includes all of Bremer County, as well as most of Fayette and Buchanan counties. It also includes the northern part of Black Hawk County. Republicans hold a margin of nearly 800 active registered voters over Democrats in the district — 10,722 to 9,965 — but no-party voters make up nearly half of the active voters with 17,828.

Schoenjahn is completing his third term in the Iowa Senate. He won re-election in 2012 with 16,338 votes. His challenger, Elliott Henderson, received only 14,346 votes.

Senate Minority Leader Bill Dix (R-Shell Rock) said Johnson’s experience can be utilized in the Iowa Statehouse.

“Craig understands finance and managing budgets, and these are important strengths we will rely upon when he is elected to the Iowa Senate,” he said.

Johnson said he will work to reduce burdens on small business to help them succeed, as well as grow career opportunities by investing in a skilled and competitive workforce.

“Our state is incredibly rich with opportunity and I will work hard for Iowans to give them every chance to succeed,” Johnson said. “We also must protect Iowa families and their budgets by ensuring fiscal responsibility and not spending more than the state takes in on an annual basis.”

“In the Iowa Senate, Craig will fight to preserve and promote our rural communities and main street businesses,” Gov. Terry Branstad said. “Craig will use his experiences in manufacturing, construction and agriculture to ensure our students, and workforce, have the skills needed to compete in a global economy.”

Johnson and his wife Susan have one daughter. He currently sits on the Vision Iowa Board and is a member of the Iowa Soybean and Iowa Corn Growers Association.

“Craig has a passion for serving Iowans,” Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said. “From coaching his daughter’s soccer team, to his involvement in the Independence Athletic Booster Club and Vision Iowa Board, Craig always works for a bright future for Iowa.”