Republican Bobby Kaufmann solidifies fourth term in the Iowa House

With the results of the General Election finalizing Kaufmann’s lead, he remains to be the sole Republican state lawmaker in Johnson County, beating Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek to represent District 73.


Katina Zentz

Iowa Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Muscatine, speaks at the Iowa State Capitol on Monday, January 13, 2020. The House convened and leaders in the Iowa House of Representatives gave opening remarks to preview their priorities for the 2020 session.

Claire Benson, News Reporter

WILTON — Republican Bobby Kaufmann was reelected to serve his fourth term in the Iowa House on Tuesday night — still the sole Republican state lawmaker in Johnson County. 

State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, beat Democratic challenger Lonny Pulkrabek, the retiring Johnson County Sheriff. 

Unofficial results report that Kaufmann received 60.19 percent of the votes, beating Pulkrabek who received 39.71 percent.

Kaufmann said that his win reflects the support of his constituents and that this proves attack ads, and funding that goes into them, are not effective campaign methods.

“Number one, the voters, once again, rejected the vile slime when it comes to personal attack ads,” Kaufmann said. “I had nearly a half a million dollars in personal attack ads put up against me, the voters rejected that. And number two, with nearly a half a million dollars spent against me, most of which came from out of state. The voters once again showed the state of Iowa that House District 73 is not for sale.”

Pulkrabek is the highest-profile Democrat to run against Kaufmann, however, he received some criticism earlier in the race because more than half of his funding coming from out of state donors.

Pulkrabek did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

Kaufmann said winning this election has been extremely fulfilling for him, because of the number of attack ads negatively targeting him throughout his campaign.

“Out of all of my elections, this is by far the sweetest victory that I’ve ever had, because it came under an intense assault of outside money and negative attacks,” Kaufmann said.

Kaufmann, 35, grew up on his family’s farm in rural Wilton, Iowa, and later attended the University of Iowa to study business. 

Kaufmann has a background in crop and livestock farming, in addition to business and entrepreneurship, as he owns and operates a steel hauling, construction, and demolition business in Cedar County, which is adjacent to Johnson County.

The Wilton Republican is involved with several organizations that emphasize his background in farming and business in rural Iowa, including the Iowa Farm Bureau, the National Rifle Association, Cedar County Historical Society, and Cedar County Soldiers Monument Association.

Kaufmann chaired the State Government Committee in the Statehouse.

During this past session, Kaufmann was assigned to several committees in the statehouse including the Judiciary Committee, Government Oversight Committee, State Government Committee, and the Ways and Means Committee.

In his time in the Legislature, Kaufmann has supported increased access to medical cannabis, additional funding for education, EMS services, childcare, mental-health services within the state, and laws that designate animal cruelty as a felony.

Kaufmann said with his reelection, he plans on following through with campaign proposals in his next term.

“Very simply put, I plan on following through with my election promises,” Kaufmann said. “I tend to work with Democrats and Republicans to advance common sense policy, and all the things that I campaigned on. I plan on going through like a checklist and just doing them.”