Kaufman will represent District 73


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Winning the majority in every precinct but one, Republican Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, pulled ahead for re-election into the Iowa House of Representatives.

Kaufmann defeated Democrat David Johnson, D-West Branch, in the race for the House District 73 seat in the midterm election on Nov. 4.

He will serve his second term in the Iowa House after first being elected in 2012.

House District 73 encompasses Cedar County, with small portions of Johnson County, and the city of Wilton. The district played a key role in the Republican Party keeping its majority in the House until 2016.

“I’m incredibly humbled the voters trust me for a second term,” Kaufmann said. “And I won the majority vote with 67 percent, so we’re feeling pretty good.”

Kaufman said his platform could be described in one word: results.

He said he will continue to vote for the issues he previously supported, such as helping Iowa Emergency Medical Services and firefighter volunteers, water quality initiatives, and balancing the budget.

Both candidates were in support of education initiatives — especially the allowable-growth measure.

Kaufmann voted for the 4 percent Allowable Growth for 2014, 6 percent for 2016, and both tuition freezes, though the House didn’t end up passing the allowable-growth measure this year.

Allowable growth is a percentage increase of the state per-pupil cost to be calculated by the state Legislature for the upcoming budget year.

Johnson’s platform centered on increased education spending, raising the minimum wage to $15 rather than $10.10, decreasing corporate welfare, and rejecting bans on telemedicine abortion.

Iowa Democrats have been unsuccessful in passing legislation that focuses on raising the minimum wage thus far. Three minimum-wage bills were presented in the Democrat-controlled Senate, and none of them got a floor vote, Kaufmann said, so he hasn’t even had the chance to vote on the issue.

Johnson said he is going to spend some overdue time with his wife and kids, and he has no plans to continue in the political sphere at this time.

“It was a pretty crappy night for Democrats all around,” Johnson said. “But it was a good, clean race, and I think a lot of the topics that needed to be discussed were [discussed].”

He said he hopes Kaufmann can help the district continue to thrive with increased positive change.

Bill Keettel, the chairman of the Johnson County Republicans, said he was watching as the numbers came in and was thrilled to see Kaufmann pulling ahead after absentee ballots were counted.

“We’re happy Bobby had success tonight,” he said. “I absolutely think it was a great win for him and the Republican Party.”

Keettel said Kaufmann has proved his effectiveness as a legislative leader, and he’s demonstrated his ability to work across party lines.

“I think Kaufmann has a bright future in Iowa politics,” he said.

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