Today (Wednesday) the democrat who’s facing Congressman Tom Latham in November wraps up a seven-day campaign swing through the 28 counties of Iowa’s 4th Congressional district. Paul Johnson of Decorah, the former head of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, also served briefly as a federal official. Johnson and his wife have farmed in northeast Iowa for the last 30 years. Starting in 1985, Johnson served three terms in the Iowa House and he was one of the architects of Iowa’s groundwater protection law and helped create a state program that hands out grants for land restoration, construction of trails and other projects to enhance the outdoors. Johnson went on to head the federal Soil Conservation Service. Johnson says he’s not intimidated by Latham’s financial advantage.Johnson says you can’t buy votes, and he says he can make some headway between now and election time. The former state legislator says he has faced long odds before.When Johnson ran in 1984 for state representative, no Democrat had ever represented the area. Johnson ran against a 12 year incumbent, and was told “you don’t have any chance.” Johnson hopes to hold public forums with Latham in each county later in the election year. Johnson says he’s sort of interviewing for a job right now, and he says he and his fellow applicant should be in front of the people of the district, so they have an opportunity to listen to the candidates and ask questions. Johnson tours northeast Iowa today to finish this round of campaigning, with stops in Charles City, New Hampton, Cresco, and Lansing.
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