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Iowa's GOP Big Man On Campus

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The following piece is published on Iowa Independent as well as HuffPost's OffTheBus.

Ben Johnson is looking for a reflection of his ideals in Republican leaders. He wants someone who will mirror his conservative philosophy to be the next president.

Johnson, a double-major in psychology and physics at the University of Iowa, exuberantly leads more than 7000 Iowa college Republicans as the state chairman of the Iowa Federation of College Republicans.

He is energetic, charismatic and deeply committed to conservative politics and listed three cornerstones of his conservative philosophy: "family values," "strong national defense," and "capitalism."

This past weekend he attended the West Coast Leadership Conference organized by the Young America's Foundation. YAF's website says young activists "can learn how to organize breakthrough speaking events." Johnson said he felt honored to be chosen as one of 100 young campus activists visiting the Ronald Reagan Ranch for workshops, speakers and activist training sessions and "to aggressively promote conservatism" on college campuses.

Before entering college Johnson started the "Young Republicans" club at Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids. He said other Cedar Rapids high schools have started Republican clubs since he left for college and last week he made a speech at a barbecue for high school Republicans in Cedar Rapids.

Although his father voted for Jimmy Carter in 1980, Johnson said his family soon after became Reagan Republicans. At age 12 his family moved to Iowa from California, and that's when he became active in conservative politics.

On the record Johnson told the Iowa Independent that the first time he worked on a presidential campaign work was for Alan Keyes. Privately he explained why he is both excited and apprehensive about a Hillary vs. Rudy match-up for the presidency next year.

The college conservative has not decided on his caucus choice yet.

And how does a college Republican support the troops these days?

If you're a University of Iowa Republican you attend an annual Support the Troops grill-out, which raises hundreds of dollars to produce Care packages for soldiers around the world.

Beef jerky and Sports Illustrated are commonly requested items by members of the military, said Johnson, noting that he has orchestrated the sending of thousands of packages to troops around the world through the state-wide Iowa Federation of College Republicans.

In this video, Johnson explains his very personal commitment to supporting the troops.