Spirit Lake, Iowa — A Spirit Lake man is calling on State Senator David Johnson of Ocheyedan to resign from the Iowa Senate, and plans to seek the District 1 Senate seat Johnson holds, once he does so.
In a press release, Zach Whiting called for Johnson to step down over his decision, earlier this year, to leave the Republican party over comments made by Presidential candidate Donald Trump. In the release, Whiting called Johnson’s decision, “misguided and self-centered”, and said it left the people of Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Clay, and Palo Alto Counties without an effective representative in the Iowa Senate.
By becoming an independent, Johnson has forfeited, not only the support of the Republicans in his district, but has been stripped of committee assignments, has no caucus, no standing with the Senate, has no staff, and has put the GOP in a much more difficult position to regain the majority in the Iowa Senate, according to Whiting’s release.
Whiting’s release accused Johnson of making the Trump kerfuffle issue all about himself. But, he says, it’s not about David Johnson, but about the hardworking people of District 1 who deserve a Senator who can effectively represent them in Des Moines. Whiting says Johnson can no longer do that. Whiting says Johnson has betrayed the trust of his constituents, his colleagues, and the party. He says Johnson does not represent the traditional, conservative values of Northwest Iowa or the Republican Party he left, and says Johnson should resign from office immediately.
Earlier this month, the Republican chairs for the counties in Senate District 1 chastised Johnson over his decision, and promised no support for Johnson, of any kind, as a result of his departure from the GOP. Those leaders also made it clear that they would make every effort to elect persons who support the party and the values it holds dear. Whiting says he “accepts the call of the Republican chairs, and looks forward to their support” as he seeks the 1st District State Senate seat currently held by Johnson.
KIWA left a voicemail for Senator Johnson Monday afternoon, seeking comment, but the call has yet to be returned.