Can you tell us a little bit about your race?
I am running for Iowa House of Representatives because we must build up our communities in our district. We must create good-paying jobs and help small businesses grow. High speed internet must be provided throughout the district including rural areas. Our district needs access to affordable health care, health facilities and education. We must protect family farms, as well as our precious soil and water.
Our campaign is about having integrity and compassion towards fellow Iowans: to provide leadership and civility, to work towards solutions to the many issues facing us in our district and in Iowa. We will bring the common-sense attitude and determination needed to the Iowa Legislature. Let’s build Iowa House District 48 up!
What sets you apart from your opponent?
My opponent believes that giving hundreds of millions of dollars in Iowa tax breaks and tax credits to some of the wealthiest corporations on the planet is a good thing for Iowa citizens. In House District 48 it actually has had the opposite effect. It has created huge shortfalls in the Iowa budget, local governments and school districts. To make up for the Iowa budget shortfall, my opponent plans to or has voted to cut funding on things like the Dept. of Human Services, Dept. of Public Health, Dept. of Corrections, the Iowa Skilled Worker Agency, the Job Creation Fund, the Agencies on Aging, Iowa Courts System, Dept. of Public Safety, Dept. of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Dept. of Natural Resources, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Education. I believe that these are desperately needed organizations and services for our District. My opponent has stated he will be voting along with his leadership to slash $1.7 billion off tax revenues from the wealthiest Iowans and corporations, putting the emphasis of tax revenues on local governments and school districts. By breaking his promise of property tax backfills, local governments may be forced to raise property and sales taxes. There may be more emphasis on local bond issues because of the lack of state support. I do not want to see the people in our District have their property taxes and sales taxes go up, just so huge corporations that may not be located within our District, can show a larger profit.
Past or present, what political figure or figures do you look up to?
Because of my background in Agronomy, I have always admired Henry A. Wallace. Wallace was the 33rd Vice President of the United States under Franklin D. Roosevelt, after he was the 11th US Secretary of Agriculture. An Iowa farm boy from Adair County, he was raised as a Republican and later became a Democrat. He founded the Progressive Party and ran as its Presidential nominee in 1948. Wallace obtained a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry from Iowa State College in Ames, was an editor for the family-owned paper Wallaces’ Farmer and experimented with breeding high-yielding hybrid corn. Wallace’s work introduced the concept of hybrid vigor. In 1926 with the help of his wife, Ilo Browne, founded the Hi-Bred Corn Company, which later became Pioneer Hi-Bred. Today, I have great respect for and try to emulate leaders such as President Barack Obama, Secretary Colin Powell and Secretary Tom Vilsack. They all have great devotion to the service of others. They tirelessly work to bring solutions to problems. They are community minded, cerebral in their thinking, kind, and inspire others to do more. This is what great leaders do.
What inspired you to run for office?
My Great-Grandparents had dreams of being landowners and American citizens, becoming one of the founding families of Boyden, Iowa. By their faith and perseverance they made a home and started a family that continues to grow in Iowa. They fought against injustice and hate groups which roamed the country side after the Civil War. They helped build the local church to feed the souls of those weary of the harsh prairie conditions. They housed those who came to their doorstep, fed those who were hungry, and supplied what little medicine they had to the ill. They were community leaders and hard-working, progressive farmers. Thus, building community runs in my blood. That is why I am running for Iowa House. Like my ancestors, we must build up our communities and help each other reach our goals. We must help create solid, good-paying jobs. We must help small businesses grow, find quality employees and expand markets for their products. We must provide high speed internet throughout Iowa, including rural areas. We must have high quality, affordable health care. We must attract new families and business into rural areas. We must have access to mental health facilities and quality nursing homes. We must have high quality, affordable education for our children, and for those wanting a post-secondary education. We must protect family farms, as well as our precious soil and water. We can do this! Together we can fulfill these goals, like our ancestors did, to make Iowa a better place for us, our children and our grandchildren.
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself that we wouldn’t find on your website?
Any farmer can tell you that the amount of time spent in a tractor can be enormous. While monitoring the equipment and gauges, I utilized the time to sing along with the radio or practice songs learned in choir. This lead to being in All-State Choir in High School, singing at more weddings than I could possibly count and having the booming speaking voice I have today.
Lastly, what’s your opinion of Steve King?
My family originates from Sioux County which is the heart of his district. So many people across the district and Iowa are deeply concerned about the hateful rhetoric that resonates from his campaign. When you are trying to get your business and economy to grow in this district, it does not help to have someone who should be leading by bringing people together, is instead, pulling people apart. When you are trying to encourage entrepreneurs to move to this district, the biggest roadblock is the negative image that he embodies. The legislation that he has introduced while in Congress is minimal and hasn’t been made into law. He is ineffective. It is time for an effective leader who can unite us and not divide us. Not just for Democrats, but for Independents and Republicans as well. We are all in this together. Let’s build Iowa up!