Solon school board member and former NCS executive Dick Schwab has jumped into the House District 73 race, which means Johnson County will see at least one Democratic primary contest this June.
Schwab has a high philanthropy profile in Johnson County and was the Press-Citizen's Person Of The Year in 2001. He's also well known for hosting weddings at his "Celebration Barn," which has put him at the center of several hot county zoning fights.
Schwab will face off in the primary with former West Branch city council member David Johnson, who announced soon after Map Day and filed yesterday, the first day candidates could turn in their papers to the Secretary of State. But the rumor mill says some local Democrats weren't optimistic about Johnson's chances.
The June 5 primary winner will be trying to replace Republican Jeff Kaufmann, first elected in 2004 and now a top member of House GOP leadership. The district covers all of Cedar County, Scott Township and Greater Metro Solon in Johnson, and the GOP stronghold of Wilton in Muscatine County. Overall the seat leans slightly Democratic, in large part because of the larger chunk of Johnson County.
As for the primary dynamic, the population breaks out about 60% Cedar County, 30 Johnson and 10 Muscatine. That's population, not Democratic primary turnout. Mileage may vary depending on what other contested races we see, if any.