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State Representative District 01    John Wills    Republican Party

John grew up in Sibley, graduated from Sibley Community High School, and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Northwestern College in Orange City. He has been involved in water quality and conservation work for more than 15 years and is the Vice President of the Okoboji Protective Association working to protect water resources. He also currently serves in the National Guard and has been in the military for 25 years, serving 15 months in Iraq and 9 months in Afghanistan.

John's life has been dedicated to service and now he is looking to work on behalf of Iowans in the Statehouse.

John has lived in all three counties of the district and knows the issues that affect us all. He has the courage to bring our Northwest Iowa values and ethics of hard work to the concrete of Des Moines. John is a founding member of Pheasants Forever in Osceola County, and a member of the State Pheasants Forever Council.  He is also a member of the Friends of Lakeside Lab and Veterans of Foreign War. John and his wife Cami have three adult children.

With your help, I will: 

  • Work to cut through red tape and reduce burdens for small business so they can grow
  • Support agriculture and the jobs it provides in our communities
  • Protect the family budget not spending more than the state takes in
  • Defend family values and protect the unborn.

State Representative District 02    Megan Jones    Republican Party

Megan Jones is serving her third term in the Iowa House.

After graduating from Spencer High School, Megan attended Drake University.  She balanced a full-time job with her studies and graduated with degrees in Law, Politics and Society and Business.  She then went on to earn her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law. She is an attorney at Hemphill Law, PLC office in Spencer.

Megan and her husband, Will, have one son, Anchor. They have made their home on Will’s family farm in southern Clay County.

Megan is a member of the Spencer Daybreakers Kiwanis group and also serves on the Keep Iowa Beautiful Board.  Megan has been a recipient of the Spencer Volunteer of the Year Award and has been recognized by the Governor and Legislature for her volunteer activities.

State Representative District 03    Daniel Huseman    Republican Party

Dan Huseman is serving his twelfth term in the Iowa House.

Dan was first elected to the House in 1994. He was born on June 28, 1952, in Cherokee. His father, Dorrel, and mother, Myrna, were farmers. Dan grew up in a large family with five brothers and sisters.

He grew up on the family farm in Cherokee County and attended Aurelia grade school. He graduated in 1970 from Aurelia High School. Following high school, Dan graduated from Buena Vista College in Storm Lake in 1974.

After college, Dan married his wife, Barbara, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Aurelia. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.

Dan is very active at St. Paul Lutheran Church. Currently, he serves on the Board of Discipleship. He is the former Congregational Vice-President, Chairman of Christian Education, Youth and Welfare Committee and Finance Secretary.

When not working on the family farm, Dan is active in the Iowa Farm Bureau, Pork Producers, Cattlemen’s Association, Soybean Association, Corn Growers and Aurelia Kiwanis.

State Representative District 04     Skyler Wheeler   Republican Party

Skyler Wheeler is the State Representative-Elect for Iowa House District 4. Skyler won with nearly 63 percent of the vote on November 8, 2016.

A Republican, Skyler was born in Centralia, Washington and graduated from Napavine High School in Washington. He then attended Grays Harbor Community College in Aberdeen, Washington, graduating with his Associates Degree.

Skyler came to Northwest Iowa on a baseball scholarship to Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. Skyler graduated with his Bachelors Degree in Political Science. He has worked off-and-on for a masters degree in American Governmen from Regent University. Skyler hopes to finish his masters degree in the next few years.

Skyler’s work ethic is unquestionable. He has worked since he was 15 years old, holding nine different jobs over eight years, including a month-long stint where he held three at the same time. As one of 10 children of his parents Marcus and Dana, Skyler had to work to earn everything he received growing up, and believes he is better off for it!

Skyler and Jess currently reside in Orange City. They love Northwest Iowa and are excited to have the opportunity to represent the great people of House District 4 in Des Moines come January 9th, of 2017!

State Representative District 05    Tom Jeneary    Republican Party

Jeneary was born in Des Moines and raised in several communities in Iowa. Growing up as the son of a school superintendant, he was taught the value of education at a young age. He graduated from West Liberty High School, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Iowa, graduated from the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science, and then from the University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry.

Jeneary worked as a Funeral Director for six years; then as a dentist, having just recently retired. As a dentist who served Plymouth County for more than 30 years, Jeneary will bring a unique perspective to the Legislature.

“I look forward to doing what I can to be the voice of Plymouth and Woodbury Counties in Des Moines,” said Jeneary. “I’ll strive to grow our small town main streets, improve education, and ensure good government that works for the people.”

Jeneary is the Vice Chair of the Iowa Board of Dental Examiners, a member of the American Dental Association, the Iowa Dental Association, the Northwest Iowa Dental Association, the LeMars Sportsman’s Club, the Scottish Rite and York Rite Masonic Bodies, the Triangle Masonic Lodge 643 in Sioux City and is Past President of Plymouth County Pheasants Forever. He has volunteered with the Iowa SIDS Foundation and Walk for the Future.

Jeneary and his wife of 42 years, Pamela, have two adult sons and four grandchildren. They are members of Presbyterian United Church of Christ where he currently serves as a Deacon and sings in the choir. He is a past Elder. In his spare time, Jeneary is an avid fly fisherman and pheasant hunter.

State Representative District 06    Jacob Bossman    Republican Party

Jacob Bossman is a graduate of Morningside College where he earned a degree in Economics. He and his wife, Carmen, live in the Morningside area of Sioux City with their twin daughters.

Bossman has served on the staff of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley for 12 years. During that time, he has worked on important policy issues and learned the value of service to constituents.

Bossman wants to put that knowledge and experience to work for you in the Iowa House.

Jacob Bossman is a longtime member of Morningside Lutheran Church. Jacob currently serves on the Morningside College Alumni Board. He also coaches YMCA youth soccer and has volunteered for Siouxland Youth for Christ and the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland’s Every Classroom Counts program.

State Representative District 07    Tedd Gassman    Republican Party

Tedd Gassman is serving his third term in the Iowa House.

Gassman has spent many years as a teacher, businessman, farmer, school board member; and most importantly, a husband, father and a grandfather.  He has served as Representative of House District 7 since 2013.

Gassman was elected to the Thompson Community School Board and served as President of the Board. He’s trained as a teacher but spent many years helping to run the school district like a business.  Gassman is a member of the Gideon’s International and also served on the Thompson, Iowa Business Men’s Club for a number of years.

Gassman resides on a farm near Scarville and has been married to Jodee for 53 years. They have three grown children and 14 grandchildren.

State Representative District 08    Terry Baxter    Republican Party

Co-founder and Executive Director of GoServ Global   — the compassionate conservative.

Strong family values, married 36 years to Debby.

Father and a grandfather.

26-year resident of Iowa, lived 20 years in Hancock county, current office is in Eagle Grove, strongly connected across Iowa House District 8.

Life-long Republican, fiscal conservative, free market economic principles, private sector job creation, defender of freedom, the Constitution, and the Second Amendment.

Supports local control of education, the Iowa heartland, senior citizens and limiting big government overreach.

Strong Christian values, pro-life and pro-traditional marriage.

International conference speaker and writer.

Agriculture connected and friendly.

State Representative District 09    Ann Meyer    Republican Party


I am a nurse, nurse educator, a wife, a mom, and an 18 year citizen of Fort Dodge, Iowa. I have 31 years of nursing experience in many health care settings such as: medical + surgical, critical care, home care, office, and education of nurses. All of these settings have given me the experience as a patient advocate dealing with insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and health care administrators. I want to put my experience to work in the Iowa House of Representatives to improve health care policies in our state.

State Representative District 10    Mike Sexton   Republican Party

Mike Sexton is serving his second term in the Iowa House.  He was born August 22, 1961.

Sexton grew up in Rockwell City on the family farm and graduated from Rockwell City High School.  He earned an AAS Degree in Ag Business from Iowa Lakes Community College.  Mike and his wife, Becky, started two small businesses which they currently manage.  Twin Lakes Environmental Services is a consulting firm with a goal of keeping family farmers on their land.  Real Time Ag is a software company specializing in keeping producers current with regulatory reporting.  The two companies go hand-in-hand.  They employ seven employees.  Mike continues to operate the family farm in Calhoun County.

Sexton was first elected to the State Senate in 1998.  He chose not to run for reelection in 2002 so he could spend more time with his children while they were still at home.

Sexton and his wife have five children and attend Rockwell City Presbyterian Church.

State Representative District 11    Gary Worthan    Republican Party

Gary Worthan is serving his sixth term in the Iowa House after first being elected in 2006.

Gary was born in Storm Lake in 1954 and grew up in Truesdale which is just north of Storm Lake. He graduated from Albert City/Truesdale High School.

Gary has served in various capacities within the Farm Bureau, and has an Associate’s Degree in Farm Operations from Iowa State University. He is a 4th generation family farmer. His Great-Grandfather purchased the land that he farms in 1878 from the railroad.

Gary and his wife, Jan, have been married over 40 years and have three sons and six grandsons.  Ryan is on assignment in the Pentagon, has been on five combat deployments and has been awarded three Bronze Stars and one Silver Star.  Gabe works on the farm and manages the family trucking business with Gary.  Shannon is currently stationed in Europe with the 173rd Airborne and has served on four combat deployments.  He was awarded the Bronze Star during his last deployment in Iraq.

Gary and Jan started a military family support group several years ago when their oldest son was first deployed.  The group had as many as 40 members who met regularly.

State Representative District 12    Brian Best    Republican Party

Brian Best is serving his second term in the Iowa House.

Brian was born and raised on a farm South of Glidden.  He graduated from Glidden-Ralston High School and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science from the University of Northern Iowa.  He earned a degree as a Certified Respiratory Therapist in 1991 and is licensed as a Respiratory Care Practitioner by the State of Iowa.  He has worked in the medical field since 1984.

Brian and his wife, Sharon, started a family-owned business, Bestmed Respiratory in 2001.  In 2005, they opened Western Iowa Sleep (a sleep testing facility).  Both facilities are located in Carroll.  Bestmed specializes in equipment for seniors and patients who wish to remain living in their homes.  They began their businesses with one fulltime employee, and now employ five people.

Best previously served on the Glidden Planning and Zoning Board.  He and his wife have four children: Haley Best of Iowa City, Chelsey Boldt of Davenport, Amy Walsh of Waukee, and Lori Becker who lives in Carroll.

State Representative District 13    Christopher Hall    Democratic Party

Sioux City: Born & Raised

Chris Hall is serving his third term in the Iowa House. Outside of the legislature, Chris works as the Grants Coordinator at Western Iowa Tech Community College. Chris was born and raised in Sioux City and graduated from North High School as valedictorian. He then stayed in Iowa to receive his undergraduate degree from Grinnell College. Hall is the youngest of four children and was raised with a strong belief in public service. For Chris, being a good neighbor means giving back to the community.

In the legislature, Chris serves as Ranking Member of the Appropriations committee. He also serves on Commerce and Natural Resources. In 2014, Hall was appointed to House Leadership. He has championed economic development issues in northwest Iowa, anti-bullying legislation, and has a strong record of bipartisanship.

Hall attends First Presbyterian Church in downtown Sioux City. He is a member of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Iowa Farm Bureau, Rotary Club, Tyrian Lodge, and Sioux City Growth Organization. In 2011, he was nominated for the Ripple Award, recognizing young professionals that have made a positive impact in their community. One year later, Hall was awarded the Citizens Lifesaver Award by Sioux City Fire Rescue for actions that "potentially saved lives during a fire at an apartment complex." In his free time, Chris enjoys cycling and volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Siouxland Soup Kitchen.

Working Across the Aisle

In his first term as State Representative, Hall was chosen by colleagues to lead bi-partisan negotiations on the Economic Development budget. In this role, he helped create the new High Quality Jobs program and secure economic development funds for Sioux City.

In his second term, Hall authored the 5 year extension of the Targeted Jobs program. It is responsible for more than 1,500 jobs and $98 million in private investment in Sioux City, locating jobs here rather than South Dakota or Nebraska.

Among 100 representatives, Hall was identified as the 6th most likely to vote across party lines, voting to do what's best for his district - not partisan ideology.

State Representative District 14    Tim Kacena    Democratic Party

Retired Sioux City firefighter and U.S. Army veteran Tim Kacena is running for state representative in District 14, which covers the western and northern parts of Sioux City.

Kacena grew up in Sioux City, where he attended Emerson Elementary, West Junior High and Bishop Heelan High School. He and his wife, Susan, have two grown children and two granddaughters.

Kacena spent 33 years on the Sioux City Fire Department and retired as a lieutenant. He served as both president and vice president while a member of the Sioux City Iowa Association of Fire Fighters Union, Local 7. He also served three years in the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

Kacena is currently a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer in Woodbury County. He helped bring the Make a Wish Foundation to Iowa and helped found the St. Florian Fire and Burn Foundation, which works to reduce burn injuries and assist burn survivors.

He has been a volunteer at River-Cade and served on the board of directors for the United Way and Salvation Army.

State Representative District 15    Charlie McConkey   Democratic Party

Charlie McConkey is currently serving his first term in the Iowa House of Representatives. He is on the economic growth, human resources, labor, and ways and means committees, as well as the education appropriations subcommittee and the prevention of disabilities policy council.

Charlie McConkey was born in Carter Lake, Iowa to Charles and Fannie McConkey, and has lived most of his life in Council Bluffs. He is married to his wife Sheryl, and together they have a blended family of four children, Jennifer, Charlie III, Jason and Katie. They have seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Charlie graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1973 and obtained certification from Iowa Western Community College after high school.

Charlie worked industrial maintenance at Griffin Pipe for over 31 years. After retiring from Griffin Pipe, he obtained his real estate license and worked at N P Dodge selling real estate for five years. Charlie has owned and operated a small business in Council Bluffs for several years.

Charlie and Sheryl attend Salem Methodist Church in Council Bluffs.

Charlie is a member of United Steelworkers Local 3141, Vice President of the Roberts Park Neighborhood Association and has volunteered for SOLAS (Support Our Local Animal Shelter) and is a member of the Pottawattamie County Landlords Association. He frequently volunteers at Mohm’s Place serving meals to the homeless.

Charlie served on the Board of Steelworkers Credit Union, was Financial Secretary for United Steelworkers Local 3141, and has chaired the Safety Committee at Griffin Pipe.

As a member of the Roberts Park Neighborhood Association, Charlie has assisted neighbors in applying for grants to repair and paint their homes for those who are financially and physically unable, volunteers for the annual Easter Egg Hunt in Roberts Park and works with the association to organize and sponsor forums for City Council and Mayoral candidates.

State Representative District 16    Mary Ann Hanusa     Republican Party

Mary Ann Hanusa is serving her fourth term in the Iowa House.

Mary Ann was born and raised in Council Bluffs. She received her K‐12 education in Council Bluffs, and attended Concordia Teachers College where she earned a degree in education with majors in history and political science. She continued her education at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, earning her master’s degree in American History.

She has served as president of the Friends of the Union Pacific Railroad Museum and chaired the fundraising effort to create the Museum in the Carnegie Library Building. She serves on the Museum Board.

Mary Ann also was an area representative for Senator Chuck Grassley, before taking a position in the administration of President George W. Bush. She worked in Washington D.C., as Director of the Office of Presidential Personal Correspondence. In 2006, Mary Ann resigned her position when she was nominated to run for Iowa Secretary of State. She has chaired the Pottawattamie County Republicans and served on the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service.

Currently, Mary Ann works as a School Administrative Manager for the Council Bluffs Community School District. She is also a co‐owner of Hanusa Hardware and Rental in Council Bluffs.

Mary Ann and her husband, Charlie Johnson, were married in 2006. She is a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Council Bluffs.

State Representative District 17    Matt W. Windschitl     Republican Party

Matt Windschitl is serving his sixth term in the Iowa House.

Matt was born on December 30, 1983, in Marshalltown.  His father works for Union Pacific Railroad and his mother runs the family business, Double Barrel Shooters Supply.

Matt received his formal education at home before attending college for gunsmithing in 2004. Matt is a trained gunsmith and occasionally does gunsmithing at the family-owned gun store in Missouri Valley. He also works full-time as a switchman for Union Pacific Railroad.

Matt and Ivelisse were married in 2003 and together have two daughters, Anna and Addy.

Matt joined the United States Marine Corps in 2001 at the age of 17. He proudly served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves as a mechanic and armorer. He served a tour of duty in Iraq in 2005 and was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps Reserves as a Sergeant in 2009.

Matt was first elected to the House in 2006 at the age of 22, becoming the youngest legislator serving in the General Assembly at that time. Additionally, he was chosen by his colleagues to serve as an Assistant Leader being elected to the position three times starting in 2009 through 2013. In 2014, he was elected to serve as the Speaker Pro-Tempore and reelected to this position in 2015.

State Representative District 18    Steven Holt     Republican Party

Steve Holt is serving his second term in the Iowa House.

Steve served our country for 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, completing numerous deployments overseas, and receiving countless decorations.  After his military service he entered law enforcement and worked as a Deputy Sheriff and Police Chief.  In 2002 he and his wife, Crystal started their own small business, Movie Magic USA, a DVD Internet store.  Last year they opened another small business, Summer Magic Tropical Sno in Denison.

In service to the community, Steve and Crystal created and sponsored the Denison High School Superior Academic Awards which recognizes academic performance. Steve is a member of the Kiwanis and also serves as a board member with the local Music Boosters.  The couple is also heavily involved in swim team programs.

Crystal is a public school teacher at the high school and community college.  Together, the couple have five children.  The family attends Grace Evangelical Free Church in Denison.

State Representative District 19     Chris Hagenow    Republican Party

State Representative Chris Hagenow serves as the Majority Leader of the Iowa House. Chris was first elected to the Iowa House in 2008 and is currently serving his fifth term.

Chris previously served as the Chairman as the House Government Oversight Committee and served three years as the Majority Whip before being elected Majority Leader in 2015.  

Chris is a sixth-generation Iowan, grew up in Cedar Falls, graduated from Northern University High School and the University of Northern Iowa Magna Cum Laude in 1994. Chris earned his JD from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1997 and is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association.  

Chris is a founding partner of the Des Moines law firm Hagenow, Gustoff and Dummermuth LLP.

Chris and his wife Amanda have three children, Owen, Noah and Sophia. Amanda is a native Iowa farm girl from Poweshiek County, a graduate of Iowa State University and works as a Dietitian for Hy-Vee. The Hagenow family lives in Urbandale.

State Representative District 20    Ray Sorenson    Republican Party

Ray Sorensen was born in Creston, Iowa and raised in Fontanelle, Iowa. Ray was given the nickname "Bubba" by his dad, as he was a chubby baby, and the name stuck. Bubba grew up playing sports, showing cattle and drawing. His love for artwork carried into a career as a Graphic Designer and a mural artist. In 1999, after seeing the movie "Saving Private Ryan", Bubba was inspired to paint a thank you to our Veterans on a large 12ft tall boulder (dubbed the Freedom Rock®). Since then he has voluntarily painted a different unique thank you on that rock each May (for Memorial Day) since. This May will be the 20th Anniversary. In 2007, Bubba married his wife Maria (Galanakis) and they shortly after (2008) started their business, Sorensen Studios. In 2013, Bubba and Maria started the Freedom Rock® Tour with the goal of putting one in all 99 counties in Iowa. Bubba has now completed 69 Freedom Rocks and is still working on that tour, as well as, painting various other mural including Freedom Rocks® in other states. In 2011, they welcomed their first child, Independence (Indie) and then in 2014, they welcome the birth of their second child, Michael (Mikey). Bubba hopes to represent our entire district, regardless of the party you may affiliate with and is asking for your vote. The Sorensens hope to see you out on the campaign trail!

State Representative District 21    Tom Moore     Republican Party

Tom Moore is serving his second term after winning a mid-term special election in December 2015.

Tom taught history and physical education and coached for 33 years at Grinnell and Griswold Comm. Schools.  He followed that career with 8 years as Assistant Manager at Southwest Iowa Egg Cooperative.

Tom and his wife, Jewell, have been married for 31 years and have 3 children, Kaitlan, Thomas, and Lauren.

Tom is a member of the Iowa High School Athletic Association Officials Hall of Fame with 38 years of wrestling officiating, including 25 years in the state tournament.  He has also worked girls softball for 25 years, including 9 years in the state tournament.

State Representative District 22    Jon Jacobsen     Republican Party

Jacobsen is serving his first term in the Iowa House after recently winning a special election.

Jacobsen is a Senior Trust Officer and Vice President at Security National Bank in Council Bluffs.  He previously served as a Senior Vice President at Treynor State Bank for 11 years and holds a law degree from the University of Iowa.  Jacobsen also co-hosted the weekly radio program, “You Ain’t Heard Nothing”, heard on Saturday mornings on KMA radio.  For that work, he received 11 awards from the Iowa Broadcast News Association.

Jacobsen has a long history of community involvement, and has served as a member of the Council Bluffs Mercy Hospital Charitable Council, Treynor Optimists, President of the Cathedral Arts Project (a program to bring free access to fine arts to the public), Iowa Right to Life Committee, St. Albert’s liaison to the Catholic Schools Educational Board, Co-Chair of Boy Scouts of America Capital Campaign, Troop Committeeman for local Troop #729, President of the Council Bluffs Estate Planning Council, and member of the Grist Mill Theatre in Macedonia.

He has also been a long-time active member of the Pottawattamie County Republican Central Committee, served as moderator for Senate and Congressional debates, and as chair, delegate, and parliamentarian for Pottawattamie County Republican conventions.

Jacobsen has been married to his wife, Debra, for 29 years, and they are members of St. Cecilia’s Cathedral Church.  They have 3 grown children, Gerard, Peter and wife Hayley, and Jamie.

State Representative District 23    David Sieck    Republican Party

David Sieck is serving his second term after winning a special election in February 2015.

David is a fourth generation Iowa farmer, growing corn, hay, and soybeans on his fifth generation family farm in Glenwood. He attended Iowa Western Community College and as well as Iowa State University.  He is also a licensed real estate agent and works for Jim Hughes Real Estate.

Along with his work in agriculture, Sieck has passionately pursued opportunities in renewable energy and economic development. This includes being a founding board member of both Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy (SIRE) and Western Iowa Energy.

David is a past president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and past committee member of the National Corn Growers Association.  He has also served as the Vice Chairman of the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee.  He is also an active community volunteer as a member of the Glenwood Optimists and Mills County Economic Development Foundation.

Sieck and his wife, Kim, have been married for 31 years and have three children; Maddison, Evan, and Alexa.  The family attends St. John’s Lutheran Church in Council Bluffs.

State Representative District 24     Cecil Dolecheck     Republican Party

Cecil Dolecheck is serving his eleventh term in the Iowa House.

Cecil was born in 1951 in Mount Ayr.  He graduated from the Mount Ayr Community School in 1969 prior to attending Iowa State University for two years, when he returned to assist his father on the family farm.

Cecil’s first wife, Becky, passed away in 2001.  He married Patti in 2005 and together they have five grown children and are the proud grandparents of 24.  They attend the Mount Ayr Christian Church.

Dolecheck is a past-President of both the county Farm Bureau and Pork Producers.  He is a former Director and past-President of the Farmers Cooperative Company of Afton, Arispe, Creston, Osceola, Mount Ayr, and Macksburg.  He has also served as a 4-H leader and a member of the Sherriff’s Posse.

State Representative District 25    Stan Gustafson     Republican Party

Stan Gustafson is serving his third term in the Iowa House.

Stan graduated from high school in California and then attended the University of California at Berkeley, graduating with a degree in finance.  After graduation, his participation in Navel ROTC led led to him being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Stan served in Vietnam in 1966-67 with the Second Battalion, 1st Marines, as an Artillery Forward Observer.  Later, as a Fiscal Officer, Stan managed budgets in excess of $80 million.  He would finish his active duty commitment honorably and participate in the Reserves for the next 23 years, retiring as a Lt. Colonel.

Stan used the GI Bill to attend law school at night while working for Mattel Toys in California.  Eventually he opened his own practice focusing on International Law.  He enjoyed a long and successful career.  Upon retirement, he and his wife, Betty, a native of Dallas County, moved back to Cumming to be closer to their grandchildren.

Gustafson has participated in Veteran activities in California and in Iowa.  He is a member of the Iowa Veterans Council.

State Representative District 26    Scott Ourth    Democratic Party

Lynn Ourth graduated from Graceland College, situated in Lamoni, Iowa, in 1953 and headed to the University of Missouri to embark upon his doctoral studies. Soon after his arrival in Columbia, he was introduced to Ellen Armstrong, an intelligent and attractive nursing student from Taylorville, Illinois. They were married in 1957 and on February 7, 1959, Ellen gave birth to their first child, a boy they named Scott. Stephanie would be born in April of the following year, with Susan to join them in February of 1966.

Dr. Ourth was hired as an associate professor by West Virginia University in 1962, and Scott attended elementary school in Morgantown, West Virginia. The family moved again in the summer of 1970, this time to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Scott attended junior high and high school in Chattanooga, graduating from Hixson High School as vice-president of his class in 1977. After spending childhood summers with his grandparents – paternal on their Mississippi River farm, maternal in the coal fields of central Illinois – Scott returned to his Iowa roots as a freshman at Graceland College. His generation represents the third of his family to study on the Graceland campus. Scott framed houses and worked as a lifeguard to pay his way through school. He graduated as a Dean’s List honoree and student body president in 1981.

After college Scott worked on the line in an automotive production plant while taking graduate courses at Central Michigan University. In 1986, Ourth moved to Washington, DC, where he worked for several years as a congressional press secretary and policy analyst. He was soon invited to serve as senior advisor to a number of national congressional and gubernatorial candidates. After gaining valuable experience on Capitol Hill and the national campaign trail, Scott went back to work in construction, this time as a heavy equipment operator and maintenance specialist. He recalls his years building highways, bridges, and airports as among the most informative and rewarding of his life. During this time, he gained valuable insight into the struggles, hardships, and values of working families.

In 1997, Scott returned to Iowa to work as an advisor to several elected officials in a number of capacities. A long-time advocate for persons with disabilities, Scott went back to Michigan from 2001 to 2004 to help expand and improve supports and services for persons living with disabilities. It was there he met his wife, Heather. They married in 2002, and Scott brought his bride back to her native Iowa.

Ourth spent 2005 and 2006 as assistant secretary of state for operations for the State of Iowa. His primary responsibility was to foster partnerships with county officials throughout Iowa, making certain all 1,788 federal polling places were accessible to persons with disabilities. Today, every person in Iowa living with a disability, including blindness and hearing impairments, can cast their vote independently with their privacy preserved.

Scott served as Warren County public affairs director from 2007 until 2011. He has written over $1 million in successful grants for the county. His work has resulted in community improvements such as the geothermal retrofit at the Annett Nature Center and the one hundred-foot, 20 kilowatt wind turbine that now powers that entire facility. He secured $100,000 to underwrite the renovation of the old People’s Bank building on the Indianola Square. This wonderfully restored building is now the Warren County Courthouse Annex.

Scott is currently heading up a three-year, multi-phase effort to pave the pedestrian walking areas at the Warren County fairgrounds, financed entirely by grants and contributions. Upon completion, this project will allow every Warren County resident to easily access and move about the fairgrounds. He worked with the DNR and the Iowa legislature to secure $750,000 to rebuild four cabins at Ahquabi State Park, originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corp. Scott and his multiple community partners have many other innovative improvement projects in the works.

Scott is a past vice-president of the Disability Rights Iowa Board of Directors (formerly known as Iowa Protection & Advocacy Services, Inc.), which is the only disability advocacy agency mandated by Congress. He served on the Graceland University Alumni Board of Directors from 2003 until 2011, and is the recipient of the American Cancer Society Distinguished Service Award and the American Heart Association Director’s Award. He has served on the Warren County Leadership Institute Board of Directors, and is a member of the Indianola Noon Lion’s Club. Scott has served as the Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator for Warren County. Scott currently owns and operates a professional writing and communications company.

In 2002, Ourth hiked the 2,300 mile Appalachian Trail – nonstop – to benefit children with developmental disabilities. He twice swam an eleven-mile section of Lake Huron – again nonstop – to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Scott Ourth lives in Ackworth, Iowa, with his wife, Dr. Heather Ourth, and their son Logan, a eighth-grader at Indianola Middle School. He is an active member of the Community of Christ church, and is an accomplished outdoorsman. Scott enjoys reading history, studying the natural sciences, extended canoe, hiking, and camping excursions. He is a published author.

State Representative District 27    Joel Fry         Republican Party

Joel, 41, was born and raised in Osceola in small family business and farming. He and his wife, Heather, have nine children. They live in rural Clarke County where they own a small business. He is president of TEAM Restoration Ministries and serves as an expert consultant for healthcare issues related to hospice and end of life care. Joel has served the public through foster parenting, serving on church leadership boards, and has been instrumental on boards of directors and committees for various local and national hospice programs. Joel holds a Bachelor of Arts from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa and a Master of Social Work from the University of Iowa School of Social Work.

State Representative District 28    Jon Thorup    Republican Party


Jon has lived in the district almost all of his life. He knows the needs of this area.

Career of Service

Jon has been in public service for over twenty years, and he continues to serve our area as an Iowa State Trooper. He knows what it takes to make us safer.

Up to Speed

Jon has been active with the Iowa legislative process for many years.  He knows how to hit the ground running in the State Capitol.

State Representative District 29    Wes Breckenridge    Democratic Party

Wes currently works for the Newton Police Department as a Lieutenant. He has previously served as a Prairie City Police Officer, Monroe Police Department Interim Chief and Jasper County Sheriff’s Reserves Deputy. 

During his time with the Newton Police Department he has served as a School Resource Officer, DARE Instructor, Drug Task Force Officer and Traffic Safety Officer. 

In addition to his public service with local law enforcement he has also served as a member of Newton Noon Kiwanis and SYNC, (Supporting Youth Through Nurturing Communities) member. Wes was an educator with DMACC serving  as an Adjunct Professor. He is also works with a local social action committee on Human Trafficking awareness.

Wes is a graduate from Upper Iowa University with a Public Administration degree and also earned a Masters Certificate from the University of Virginia in Criminal Justice.

Wes is married to his wife, Kris of 27 years with three wonderful children. He enjoys the outdoor activities and spending time.

State Representative District 30    Brian Lohse   Republican Party

My name is Brian Lohse and I wish to be a voice for Iowans in our state capitol. I am a small business owner, a husband, and a father, dedicated to making our community a better place to live. I graduated from Drake Law School with a Law Degree and with the help of my wife, I opened and own the Brick Street Market and Brick House Fitness.

I have diligently served my community as the Mayor Pro Tem of Bondurant. I have been the Past President of Bondurant Development, Inc. and East Polk Innovation Collaborative. As a member of Bondurant Federated Church, I have been a part of the Haiti Missions Team, and have coached several youth sports teams in our area.

In short, I care about my community and my neighbors, and I want to make sure that we have a voice for the people in Des Moines.

State Representative District 31    Rick L. Olson     Democratic Party

Rick Olson is serving his 5th term in the Iowa House of Representatives. He serves on the Judiciary, Public Safety, Transportation, Committees and Administrative Rules Review.

A lifelong Eastside resident, Rick attended Grandview College and Drake University, receiving his law degree from Drake in 1976. Upon graduation from law school, he went to work as an Assistant Polk County Attorney. While an Assistant Polk County Attorney, Rick was a member of AFSCME. Rick entered private practice in 1979 and has practiced law in Des Moines for more than 30 years. Additionally, Rick raises and races thoroughbred horses.

He is married to Brenda Olson, a realtor in Des Moines. He has three daughters, Kate Hays, Lesley Zebic, and Samantha, and son in laws, John Hays & Mario Zebic.

Rick serves on the Polk County Magistrate Appointing Commission. He previously served on the Polk County-Wide Oversight Committee and is part of the Iowa Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association Board. He is a member of the Iowa Bar Association, the Polk County Bar Association, and Iowa Trial Lawyer’s Association.

State Representative District 32    Ruth Ann Gaines     Democratic Party

Ruth Ann Gaines is serving her 3rd term in the Iowa House of Representatives. She serves on the Education, Veteran’s Affairs, Public Safety and Human Resource committees and is the ranking member of the Government Oversight committee. She is a lifelong Democrat.

Ruth Ann Gaines was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1947. She was educated in the parochial school system. She received a BA degree in Drama/Speech in 1969 from Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa and a M.A. in Dramatic Art from the University of California in Santa Barbara in 1970. She taught Drama at East High School from 1971 – 2011. She has been teaching speech and drama since 1971 at Des Moines Area Community College. She also currently teaches at Viterbo University and Heartland Education Agency. Ruth Ann has served on numerous boards and commissions throughout the years. She was appointed to the State Foster Care Review Board by Governor Tom Vilsack in 2000 and served 4 years on the Iowa Arts Council where she was appointed by Governor Chet Culver in 2008. She was also a Des Moines Human Rights Commissioner. She served from 2004 – 2011. She was president of Friends of Greater Des Moines Human Rights from 2007 – 2011.

Ruth Ann has taught many courses that she created in the educational arena. She has taught diversity courses to teachers since 1979 at the Heartland Area Education Agency in Des Moines and most recently at Viterbo University Iowa Center in West Des Moines. She has also been recognized as a national diversity trainer for colleges and universities, businesses, corporations and churches.

Among the many initiatives she has created for the Des Moines Public Schools is Sisters for Success, a mentorship program for African American middle and high school girls. This program has been used as a model for other like programs in schools throughout the state. She also created the performing group Voices of Change, who travelled throughout the Midwest performing diversity skits. She created a mime group, Silent Vibrations, who performed in elementary schools for 38 years.

She is also well known throughout the state for her acting and directing endeavors. Ruth Ann has directed/acted in over 200 plays in the Des Moines community. She has produced and hosted her own tv and radio programs; one being the Des Moines Public School District’s television program, Classroom Connection. In the fall of 2009, she directed a 32 episode radio drama, “Queen Street”, that was a part of the Iowa Initiative to prevent unwanted pregnancies, chaired by Christie Vilsack and Sally Pederson. This program aired in various communities throughout the state and has been available to schools. She is an accomplished public speaker, having given the commencement addresses at Iowa State University’s School of Education, Clarke University, Kaplan University and ITT Technical Institute, as well as introducing President Clinton and Obama at local events.

Ruth Ann has won the George Washington Carver Award from Simpson College in 1979, was a 1987 YWCA Woman of Achievement and was the 1993 Rotary High School Teacher of the Year. She was the 1998 Iowa Teacher of the Year and one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year. During the last few years, she has also been inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame, the Iowa African American Hall of Fame and the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame. In 2002 she was selected as a Central Iowa Woman of Influence. Also in 2002, Ruth Ann was the first Iowan to be awarded the “I’ll Make Me A World” in Iowa individual award. She was given the key to the city by Mayor Preston Daniels in 2003 and received an Iowa Character Counts Award in 2005. She served on the Loras College Board of Regents from 2001-2004 and was the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. Ruth Ann is also a graduate of Leadership Iowa in 1996 and a 2002 graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute.

Ruth Ann was selected as a recipient of the National Broadway Teacher of the Year Award in 2010. Only a few select teachers across the country receive this award annually. Ruth Ann was one of 15 recipients and the first ever Iowa recipient. She was awarded for collaborating with the Education Department of the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines in establishing an educational program for African American girls in the Des Moines public schools to attend “The Color Purple”. Most Recently Ruth Ann was awarded the Alpha Phi Alpha Award of Merit at the Fraternity’s annual Black & Gold Ball. She was also awarded the Des Moines Education Association’s Friend of Education Award.

Ruth Ann is a single adoptive parent of a child with multiple disabilities. In 1984, she was one of 15 single persons to adopt in Iowa. She has worked for and served on numerous committees and boards to help the disabled. She served on Very Special Arts Iowa Board and has sponsored many special needs artists in the Des Moines community.

State Representative District 33    Brian Meyer     Democratic Party

Brian served seven years representing the citizens of Southeast Des Moines as a member as the Des Moines City Council. Prior to his service on the council, Brian served on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission. He is a 2002 graduate of Drake Law School.

Brian is a former Assistant Iowa Attorney General and former Assistant Polk County Attorney.

He and his wife Ann live in Southeast Des Moines with their two daughters, Evelyn and Clara.

State Representative District 34     Bruce Hunter     Democratic Party

Bruce Hunter is serving his 7th term in the Iowa House. He serves as Ranking Member of the Labor committee. He also serves on the Local Government, State Government, Administration and Regulation Appropriation committees.

Bruce Hunter was born to Norm and Iris Hunter on June 22, 1955 in Alma, Wisconsin. After growing up in Wisconsin and Minnesota, Bruce graduated from Ellendale High School in Ellendale, Minnesota. After high school, Bruce attended Winona State University for two years and Saint Cloud State University for one year.

Bruce is married to Betty Brim-Hunter. He worked for Iowa Student Loans for two years as a loan consultant. Previous to that, he worked for Citi Group as a Customer Service Manager for 8 years. Betty works as the State Political Director for AFL-CIO.

Bruce has been very active in community groups throughout his life. He is a past president of the Davenport Jacyees and a past district director of the Iowa Jaycees. In addition, he has been active in the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and Animal Lifeline of Iowa.

Bruce sees labor, education, and health care as the most important issues facing Iowa. He wants to work to create good paying jobs with benefits that will keep young people in Iowa. He wants to work to keep Iowa’s schools the best in the nation, and he wants to make sure that Iowans young and old get the medical care and treatment they need.

Bruce feels his strength lies in his ability to listen to the needs of the people in House District 34 and then put those concerns to work at the Capitol.

State Representative District 35    Ako Abdul-Samad     Democratic Party

Representative Ako Abdul-Samad is a National and International Motivational Systemic Speaker, Activist, Author, Photographer, Business Owner and Counselor. Ako Abdul-Samad has impacted the lives of thousands of individuals and families for over five decades.

He is serving his fifth term in the House of Representatives and is Assistant Minority Leader. Ako serves on the following Committees: Administration and Rules, Education, Human Resources, International and Public Safety Committees. Ako is currently the Chairperson of the Iowa Democratic Black Caucus.

Ako was elected and served on the Des Moines School Board and held office as the Vice President of the Des Moines Area School Board

As the CEO & Founder of Creative Visions Human Development Institute in Des Moines, Iowa, Ako Abdul-Samad established this non-profit organization in 1996. Serving as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ako established and directed business functions that include Employment Assistance, Support Services, Healthcare Management, Community Development, Advocacy, and consultancy on Culture & Diversity Education.

Ako created “From Pain 2” (or) “From Pain 2” A network developed to aid in bringing individuals together as a collective whole, with the purpose of aiding those who are struggling with core pain. Now, no one has to ever be alone. This is a special place where people connect with each other, to share their feelings and have a safe place to heal. Eventually having the strength to turn their personal pain to power, and understanding that it is a choice

Cofounder and Coordinator of YMCA Downtown Teen Program

Vice President of KUCB Radio

Founder and President of African-American Islamic Association

Vice President of the Center for the Study and Application of Black Economic Development

Cofounder of the first Black Student Union in the state of Iowa

A member of International Civil Rights Solidarity Movement

Currently a contributing columnist for “The Communicator, The Voice of Black Des Moines” Bringing insight to social issues that plaque the Black Community, community at large and may have even become cyclical in nature.

Ako published his first book, “A Deeper Truth, Revelations of the Soul”, a collection of poems depicting personal experiences and events within his own life’s journey and journeys of those he has encountered.

A graduate of the National Conference of Black Lawyers Community College of Law and International Diplomacy.

Ako has received a number of awards, just to name a few….

2015 Representative of the Year Award, Iowa Fraternal Alliance

Ako was honored with the 2015 Bankers Trust’s Award of Accomplishment & Contribution, in observation of Black History Month, this award recognizes for his work and dedication that has directly impacted the countess lives across Iowa. The award acknowledges and commends Ako’s spirit of service that continues to inspire those around him.

Ako received the Iowa Black Business Summit 2014 Alexander Clark Award.

In 2009, Ako received the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Activist award, for his demonstration of commitment toward improving the quality of life in his community and in the state of Iowa.

In 2004, Ako was awarded the National Caring Award, the Caring Institute seeks to identify, honor, and reinforce the activities of particularly caring Americans; those who enable the human race by transcending themselves in service to others by dedicating the better parts of their lives to helping those in need. They have created solutions where others have despaired of finding answers. The power of Ako’s example inspires a new standard of social responsibility.

State Representative District 36    Marti Anderson    Democratic Party

Rep. Marti Anderson is currently serving her 2nd term in the Iowa House and is Ranking Member of the Administration and Rules Committee. She also serves on the Environmental Protection, Human Resources, Judiciary, and Public Safety Committees and Justice System Appropriations Subcommittee.

Anderson is a Des Moines native who graduated from Des Moines’ St. Joseph’s Academy in 1969. She earned her BA in social work from UNI, her MSW from the University of Iowa, and is a Licensed Independent Social Worker.

Marti Anderson lives in the Beaverdale neighborhood of Des Moines, House District 36, with her husband of 20 years, Bob Brammer. Her step daughter Alissa lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and stepson, Gabe, lives in Baltimore Maryland with his wife. Anderson and Brammer have three grandchildren.

Marti began her social work career at Broadlawns Medical Center. She was later director of Polk County Victim Services (now Crisis & Advocacy), was the first service director at the Polk County Family Violence Center, and the first Community Services Coordinator at what is now Prevent Child Abuse Iowa. Until retirement from the state in June 2011, Marti served for 22 years as founding director of the Iowa Attorney General’s Crime Victim Assistance Division.

State Representative District 37    John Landon    Republican Party

John Landon is serving his third term in the Iowa House.

A lifelong Iowan with a background in business, Landon is a pro-life, pro-family conservative committed to balancing the state budget creating jobs in a favorable climate for business and agricultural growth eliminating costly regulations and making education more cost effective.

Landon is retired from a nearly 40 year career in agricultural business.   He is a Vietnam veteran who served in the Navy Seabees prior to graduating from Iowa State University.  He attends Prairie Ridge Church and has served many years as a Boy Scout leader with Troop 188. He has also been a leader in the Polk County Republicans.

Landon, and his wife Marvis, have two children, Eric (married to Rebecca) and Morgan who both graduated from Ankeny High School, having attended Ankeny schools K-12.

State Representative District 38    Heather Matson     Democrat Party

Heather Matson has spent the last 19 years working and volunteering in public policy, advocacy and development. Heather has always approached problem-solving by seeking to find common ground while holding true to her progressive principles, understanding that good ideas can come from anywhere if you are willing to listen and learn.


Heather has a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Western New England College in Springfield, MA and a Master of Arts in Legislative Affairs from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.


Heather and her husband, Chris Matson, moved to Iowa in 2003 for Chris to attend medical school at Des Moines University. It didn’t take long to fall in love with Iowa and decide to stay and raise a family here. They live in the Prairie Trail neighborhood of Ankeny with their eight-year old twins, Emma and Henry, and their dog, Tater. Chris is a family practice physician at Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines. Emma and Henry are in third grade at their neighborhood school, Prairie Trail Elementary.


Heather’s passion for advocacy and dedication to improving public policy has led to a unique career in government affairs and politics. She has worked in several roles on presidential, congressional, and statewide campaigns, including those of then-Senator John Kerry, Congressman Leonard Boswell, Secretary of Agriculture candidate Dusky Terry, and former-Governor Tom Vilsack. Her issue advocacy has ranged from organizations as varied as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to Planned Parenthood, demonstrating the importance of being committed to understanding our role in the global economy as well as access to quality health care services for our citizens.

Most recently, Heather served as the Development Director for the Des Moines Social Club, a nonprofit arts and culture hub in downtown Des Moines which uses the arts as a catalyst to create unprecedented community engagement. Prior to that work, Heather was able to be at home with her children, which provided many other career and volunteer opportunities. She operated her own business as an independent consultant with The Pampered Chef for five years and contracted as a legislative bill tracker for Campbell/Patterson Consulting during five sessions of the Iowa General Assembly. Heather’s volunteer leadership during that time included serving a term as Vice Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, where she focused on bringing a new generation of supporters into the Party structure, and as Chair of Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa where she served as a passionate advocate for women’s health policy.

Current Volunteerism

  • Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, Vice Chair, Board of Directors
  • Ankeny Schools FUEL Committee
  • Prairie Trail Elementary PTO
  • New Leaders Council, Advisory Committee

State Representative District 39    Karin Derry    Democrat Party

Karin Derry has lived in Johnston with her family for the past 19 years.  She is an attorney, a community volunteer and activist, and she is running for Iowa's 39th House District. 

Karin is the daughter of small-town business owners and she understands the importance of providing a favorable environment for employers.  After watching the Iowa legislature's attack on middle-class, hard-working Iowa families, women, and Iowa's educational system in 2017, Karin was moved to action and decided it was time to stand up and fight for what she believes in and run for the Iowa House.

With a University of Iowa bachelor’s degree in Sociology, Karin worked in Human Resources for over 15 years, primarily with not-for-profits, Broadlawns, Easter Seals, and Lutheran Social Service. She later earned a master's degree in Public Administration, and in 2006 graduated with highest honors from Drake University Law School. 

After clerking for Justice David Baker on the Iowa Court of Appeals and the Iowa Supreme Court, Karin worked in private practice for two years and then prosecuted dependent abuse cases for the State of Iowa's Department of Inspections and Appeals. From 2011-2018, she was in-house counsel with DHI Group.

Active in her community for many years, Karin has served on the boards of directors of the Central Iowa AIDS Project and Primary Health Care, and on the Iowa Dependent Adult Protective Advisory Council.  She serves on the Central Committee for the Polk County Democrats, and is a member of St. James Lutheran Church in Johnston.

Karin and her husband Jeff have been happily married for 21 years. They have three children, David, Joseph, and Karleen, with the youngest still in Johnston High School. They regularly attend school events, including soccer, music programs, and cheerleading.  They also enjoy vacationing in Colorado as a family.

Karin is ready to work in the House to protect the values and opportunities that have allowed Iowa employers to thrive, including good public schools that provide an educated and trainable workforce, and an infrastructure that supports businesses.

State Representative District 40    John Forbes    Democratic Party

John Forbes is a native Iowan, born and raised in Eagle Grove. He attended Drake University and started his career in pharmacy in 1980. He and his wife Cindy, a registered nurse, settled in Urbandale and began to grow their business and their family.

John became very active in his community.  He is a member of the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce and served as its President.  Urbandale elected him to the City Council in 2005.  He served as Mayor Pro Tem during his tenure. He is currently the President of the Urbandale Library Foundation Board.

John finished his service on the City Council when he was elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2014 to represent Urbandale in the Iowa House Of Representatives. He serves on the following committees:

  • Appropriations
  • Commerce Committee
  • Local Government Committee
  • Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee

John owns and operates the Medicap Pharmacy in Urbandale, where he has been in business for 35 years. He has also served as president of the Iowa Pharmacy Association and the Polk County Pharmacists Association.  He was named by a leading pharmacy journal as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Pharmacists in the Nation. In 2010 he received the Bowl of Hygeia Award for community service given by the Iowa Pharmacy Association.

In 2014, Drake University awarded John the Weaver Medal of Honor for achievement in the profession of pharmacy. The Weaver Medal is the highest award granted by the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

John also helps organize the Central Iowa Honor Flight program which flies veterans to Washington, D.C. for a one day trip to view the World War II Memorial and other historical sites around the District.  John was the winner of the Heroes of the Heartland Award from the American Red Cross.

John resides in Urbandale with his wife Cindy.  They have raised two children, Adam and Meredith.

State Representative District 41    Jo Oldson     Democratic Party

Jo is serving her 8th term in the Iowa House. She serves as Ranking Member of the Commerce committee and also serves on the Appropriations, Judiciary, and State Government committees.

Jo graduated from Eagle Grove Community High School and earned her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from Drake University. Jo has professional experience in both the private and public sectors. She worked for 10 years in the financial services industry. Following that, she worked for eight years in the office of the Insurance Commissioner, eventually serving as the First Deputy Insurance Commissioner. Jo then served as policy advisor to Governor Tom Vilsack. In this capacity, she advised the governor on the issues of health, human services, elder affairs, insurance, banking, utilities, and professional licensing.

Jo and her husband, Brice Oakley, live in Des Moines.

Throughout her career, Jo has demonstrated a strong commitment to public service. In addition, she has been actively involved in the community. She served for 10 years on the Young Women’s Resource Center Board of Directors, and is currently serving on the board for the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center. She has been engaged in fundraising for United Way, is an active member of Plymouth Congregational Church, and has worked with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program. Jo regularly volunteers at Greenwood Elementary.

State Representative District 42    Kristin Sunde     Democrat Party

Kristin Sunde is running for Iowa State Representative in House District 42 which includes West Des Moines and part of northern Warren County.  

Kristin and her husband Matt own a financial advisory business, which specializes in helping Iowans protect their hard-earned incomes and save for the future. They have one son, Cade, and spent the last several years as proud foster parents, providing a safe, loving home to kids and supporting parents working to overcome their struggles and reunite their families.

Raised in northwest Iowa, Kristin graduated from Newell-Fonda High School. She attended the University of Iowa before graduating from the University of Northern Iowa. She started her career as a TV news reporter and morning anchor in Sioux City, Iowa, before moving to West Des Moines in 1999 and joining a local advertising and public relations firm.

Kristin is a 2006 graduate of the Leadership Iowa Program and before becoming a foster parent, spent many years as a volunteer for the Arthritis Foundation, raising money for arthritis

research—a cause close to her heart as an Iowan living with rheumatoid arthritis.

She is also an active member of the Public Relations Society of America, serving as the 2016 board president.

As a family, Kristin, Matt and Cade enjoy golfing together and spending time with their puppy, Theo.

State Representative District 43    Jennifer Konfrst     Democrat Party

Jennifer has lived in Iowa most of her life, and has always considered the Des Moines metro area her home.  After living in northern Iowa, then out of state for a short time as a child, she returned to Iowa and went to school in Johnston, where she graduated in 1992.​

Jennifer met her husband, Lee, while attending Drake University. They’ve lived in the area since their marriage in 1996, with a brief stint in Chicago before coming back home to Iowa. They have two children, Ellie (17) and James (15) and live in Windsor Heights. Lee works at Nationwide in Des Moines and they are members of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Des Moines, where Jennifer grew up. The couple was married at Plymouth, and they are proud to be raising their children there. She earned both her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from Drake University, and Lee earned his undergraduate and law degrees there.​

Jennifer believes there is nothing more important than being a mom and that’s why she has been an active volunteer in her kids’ education at every step from preschool to high school. She has served as President of the Plymouth Nursery School Board, President of the Downtown School PTA, Mock Trial coach at Merrill Middle School, and now is a member of the PTA and a debate team parent volunteer at Roosevelt High School.  

Jennifer is currently an Assistant Professor in Drake University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication and also runs her own small business.  Her business helps those in the private and public sectors improve communication with their own customers and clients.

Before teaching at Drake, Jennifer spent 12 years in communications leadership at Iowa Public Television (IPTV). While there, she was responsible for strategy and implementation of communications for the network. She also served as the spokesperson for IPTV, on-air host during fundraising drives, and worked on special programs during the Iowa State Fair.

In 2017, Jennifer was one of four finalists for the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa's Inspiring Women of Iowa Courage Award. Jennifer has been recognized as Outstanding New Member from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Central Iowa Chapter in 2014, as a member of the Des Moines Business Record's 40 Under 40 Class of 2010, and as national PBS Communicator of the Year in 2007.

Jennifer has been a member of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ since she was confirmed there in 1988, and also served on the boards of the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center and Easter Seals Iowa.​​

State Representative District 44      Kenan Judge        Democrat Party


My name is Kenan Judge and I am running for the Iowa State House of Representatives in District 44. This includes Waukee, parts of West Des Moines and Clive.​

My wife, Kathi, and I have been married for 35 years and have raised four daughters who all graduated from Waukee High School. Kathi and I are both retired and enjoy spending time with family, gardening and volunteering for a number of organizations around the area including the Waukee Area Christian Services and the Iowa Homeless Youth Center. \

I was born and raised in Georgetown, Iowa and graduated from Albia High School. After high school I started as a meat cutter at HyVee in Muscatine, IA. I was lucky enough to work my entire career at HyVee and retired as the Group Vice President in charge of meat, seafood and deli.

Growing up my parents always instilled a foundation of fairness, ethics and hard work. Those qualities have served me well and I am looking forward to bringing more of that to the state house as your representative. I promise that if elected I will listen to your ideas and be a representative that you can be proud of because - We Are District 44.​​

State Representative District 45    Beth Wessel-Kroeschell    Democratic Party

Beth is serving her 6th term in the Iowa House of Representatives.  She is Ranking member of the Human Resources Committee.  She also serves on the Public Safety and Environmental Protection committees, and the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee.

Beth is married to Tom Kroeschell. He is the program director for CycloneTV. They have two children, Liza and Robbie.

Beth was born and raised in Ames. Following graduation from Ames High, she earned her BA from the University of Northern Iowa, and her MPA from Iowa State University.

Beth is a former high school English teacher and has done substantial work in non-profit administration. She was on the board of ACCESS, a battered women’s shelter, for four years and served as their president. She was chair of the Story County Equal Rights Amendment campaign in 1992. Beth has also served on her church council in various capacities, served on the Planned Parenthood Community Council in 1994, and worked for the Iowa Farmers Union and the Association of Boards of Certification.

State Representative District 46    Lisa Heddens    Democratic Party

Lisa Heddens is serving her 7th term in the Iowa House. She is a Ranking Member of the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee. She also serves on the Appropriations, Human Resources, Natural Resources, and Administrative Rules Review Committees.

In 1989, Lisa earned a teaching certificate in elementary education at Iowa State University. She has spent most of her professional life working with family service agencies. Currently, she is the Service Coordinator for Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI) overseeing early childhood programs at LSI’s People Place, a Family Resource Center.

Lisa serves on the Council of Human Services and the Mental Health and Disability Services Commission.

She is also a past board member for Friendship Ark Homes, Inc. in Ames.

Lisa has resided in Ames for over 30 years. She has two adult children who both reside in Ames.

State Representative District 47    Phil Thompson    Republican Party

Rural Iowa is our home and we raise our kids right.

My parents were farmers. My mother taught me about selfless service and my father taught me about hard work. My father is a Methodist Pastor and always reminds us of Micah 6:8. Seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.  My mother passed away, but the values she instilled in me live on.

I'm the youngest of six children who all joined the Army.  I entered Ranger school at 19.  It was tough, but not as tough as being raised by a mother of six.  My values were grounded in my faith and my strength was reinforced by my family.

I'm an Iraq war veteran.  I was proud to come home to the community that raised me after serving my country.

As a rural community we look out for each other.  If you send me to Des Moines I will fight for you. I believe the best stewards of our resources are the families that worked hard to create them.  I'm an Army Ranger and I'm not afraid of hard work.  I will go to bat for rural Iowa and ensure we are seeing fair returns on our investments.

We need to protect rural Iowa.  I would be proud to serve you and humbly ask for your vote on November 6th.

God Bless!


State Representative District 48    Rob Bacon    Republican Party

Rob Bacon is serving his third term in the Iowa House.

Rob has been an Iowan since 1975 when he moved here to attend college.  While studying to become a minister, he worked at a funeral home in Oskaloosa.  Shortly after, he decided to make Funeral Directing his profession and has been licensed since 1981.  He has worked in funeral homes since 1977, and has served as manager, partner, and owner of Bacon Funeral Homes.

Rob is a Member of the Nevada Rotary Club, Iowa Funeral Directors Association, and the United Methodist Church.  Rob is an advocate for rural health care and was recognized as Legislator of the Year in 2012 by the Physician Assistant Association.

Rob was previously elected to the State Senate but in 2010 decided to run for the House.

Rob married his high school sweetheart, Carol, and together they have four grown children and four grandchildren.

State Representative District 49    Dave Deyoe    Republican Party

Dave Deyoe is serving his sixth term in the Iowa House.  Since he was first elected, Dave has worked on issues dealing with education, responsible budgeting, economic development and job creation.

Dave has lived in Story County most of his life and attended school in Nevada, before receiving his B.S. from Iowa State University.

He and his wife, Deborah, raised their two children, Dana and Alex, in Nevada.   Dave works as a farmer in Story County on the family farm.  He has been active in the community through the local Rotary Club, Farm Bureau and Pork Producers organizations.  The Deyoes are members of the United Methodist Church in Nevada.  Other memberships include Iowa Cattlemen’s, Story County Pheasants Forever, and the NRA.

State Representative District 50      Pat Grassley     Republican Party

Pat Grassley is serving his sixth term in the Iowa House.

Pat was born on May 26, 1983, in New Hartford. His father, Robin, is a farmer and his mother, Diane, is a Teacher’s Assistant in the Dike‐New Hartford School District. Pat has two younger sisters.

He attended Dike‐New Hartford Schools, graduating in 2002. Pat then went on to Hawkeye Community College where he graduated in 2004. Pat farms the family farm with his father and grandfather. Pat and his wife, Amanda, were married in 2005. She is an RN. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Indee and Reagan, and one son, Chancellor.

Pat and his family attend the New Hartford Methodist Church. They live outside New Hartford.

Pat has been active with the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and Oak Hill Cemetery Foundation Board in New Hartford.  He also supports the Dike-New Hartford community by helping coach area youth sports teams.

State Representative District 51   Jane Bloomingdale    Republican Party

Jane Bloomingdale is serving her first term in the Iowa House.

Jane is a lifelong resident of Northwood.  She has served in city government for 20 years, currently as Mayor of Northwood.  She has a degree in education and worked for the Northwood-Kensett school district as a coach and substitute teacher.  Jane continued her education in accounting and has owned and operated Bloomingdale Tax and Accounting for the past 25 years.

She has been married to her husband, Jim for 36 years.  They have two adult children.  Jim has farmed in the Worth County area his entire adult life.

Jane has an understanding of the numerous challenges facing our communities and brings experience prioritizing expenditures, allocating funds, and balancing budgets.  The combination of her experiences in education, business, and civic service makes her well qualified to serve as our State Representative.

State Representative District 52    Todd Prichard    Democratic Party

Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve, he has been deployed overseas four times, including a tour in Iraq.

» Owns his own general practice law firm, Prichard Law Office, on Main Street in Charles City.

» Serves as Assistant Minority Leader in the Legislature.

» Todd and his wife Ann live in Charles City with their three young children.

» They attend St. John Lutheran Church in Charles City.

State Representative District 53    Sharon Steckman    Democratic Party

Sharon Steckman is serving her 4th term in the Iowa House of Representatives.  She holds the position of Assistant Minority Leader.  She also serves on the Administration and Rules, Education, Environmental Protection, Labor, and Ways and Means Committees. In years past she also served on Appropriations, Natural Resources, Human Resources, Economic Growth, Vice-Chair of Education Appropriations, Ranking Chair of Education and Assistant Majority Leader.

She is currently serving on Advisory Council for RSVP of North Central Iowa, the Iowa Commission for MHEC (Midwest Higher Education Compact), the state iJAG Board, and also on the local boards for Francis Lauer Services, and Una Vocis.  She served on the Interim Legislative Tax Expenditure Commission, and was a founding member of the State of Iowa STEM Council.

Born in Chicago, Sharon is a 40 year resident of Mason City. Before moving to Mason City Sharon lived in Marion, Iowa where she served on the Marion Planning and Zoning Commission and was President of the Cedar Rapids Welcome Wagon Club.

While living in Mason City, Sharon decided to complete the degree she had started at Kearney State College in Kearney, Nebraska. To accomplish this, she began a two-year, three-day a week commute to Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She graduated in 1980 with honors and was the first in the education department at ISU to student teach in Mason City. She achieved this by working out an agreement with ISU and the University of Northern Iowa.

Sharon worked for the Mason City Community School District, teaching second, fourth, and fifth grades and working as a Title I reading specialist. While teaching for the Mason City School District, she went on to earn her Master’s degree in education and reading endorsement from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa.

She was a member of the Mason City Education Association, serving as president. She also served on numerous curriculum committees, helped develop the Substance Abuse Action Plan for the district, was a member of the Superintendent’s Certified Advisory Council, and coached the Mason City High School Drill Team. During her tenure in Mason City she took a leave of absence from the district to teach overseas in Portugal, returning to Mason City to finish her career.

While her children were growing up in Mason City, Sharon served on the board of the Mason City Youth Hockey (during the years the arena was built) and the Youth Swim Club board. Also doing volunteer work for Opportunity Village.

After retiring from teaching, Sharon decided to continue her passion for education and community affairs by running for a seat in the Iowa House of Representatives

Sharon and Alan, her husband of 20 years, have four children and eight grandchildren. She is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church.

State Representative District 54    Linda Upmeyer    Republican Party

Speaker Linda Upmeyer was first elected to the Iowa House in 2002 and is serving her eighth term.

Linda was born on July 23, 1952, in Mason City. Her father, Del Stromer, was a farmer and a former Speaker of the Iowa House.  Her mother, Harriet, is a homemaker and was longtime aide to Del.  Linda has one brother, David, a farmer in Garner, and a sister, Pam, in Dublin, Ohio.

Upmeyer grew up in Garner on the family farm, graduating from Garner High School in 1970. She attended North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) and the University of Iowa, receiving her BSN. She also received her Master’s in Nursing from Drake University (Summa Cum Laude).  She is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner.

Linda married her husband, Doug, in 1970. Together they have five children: Sara, Chad, Matt, Blake, and Tyler. Linda and Doug have four grandsons, Colin, Carter, Cooper, and Nolan and one granddaughter, Claire.

Linda is a member of the Farm Bureau, the Iowa/American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa and the Clear Lake Art Center. She is a former trustee for North Iowa Area Community College and a former board member of both the National and Iowa Association of Community College Trustees.

State Representative District 55    Michael Bergan    Republican Party

Michael Bergan is serving his first term in the Iowa House.

Michael is a lifelong resident of Winneshiek County.  He was raised on a dairy and beef farm and his roots are deeply planted in the farming community.  Michael graduated from Decorah High School and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Economics from Luther College.

Michael began his career at the Miller Law Firm as an income tax preparer and office accountant.  In 2005, he assumed duties as the Director of HAWC Partnerships for Children working to implement state funding in Howard, Allamakee, Winneshiek, and Clayton Counties to address prevention and early intervention, focusing on five areas: healthy children, children ready to succeed in school, safe and nurturing families, safe and nurturing early learning environments, and safe and supportive communities.

Michael has a long history of community service and now he’s looking to work on behalf of Iowans in the Statehouse.

Michael served eight years on the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors.  He has also been active in a number of organizations, including Aase Haugen Homes and Foundation, The Spectrum Network, Wellington Place, Northland Area Agency on Aging and the Winneshiek County Solid Waste Agency.  His experience also includes service on three state level boards and commissions: the Mental Health and Developmental Disability Commission, the Iowa Empowerment Board, and the Iowa Council for Early ACCESS.

Michael and his wife, Carol, have two daughters.

State Representative District 56    Anne  Osmundson    Republican Party

I’m a life-long resident of Clayton County and I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for the blessings we have enjoyed. My husband, Steve and I live on a farm west of Volga and own and operate an agriculture based business. We have lived those time tested values of hard work, faith, family and personal responsibility. We’ve seen good years and our share of struggles. I've worked from home in our family business while raising seven children, who in turn have blessed us with twenty-one adorable grandchildren. My children and grandchildren are part of my motivation. I believe we have a responsibility to leave our beautiful land to future generations a little better than we found it.

For the last two years, I had the opportunity to serve as Rep. Kristi Hager’s clerk in the Iowa House. While in Des Moines I gained a valuable understanding of how the politics of the legislature work. I have met many of the key players at the Capitol. This will help me hit the ground running if I am given the opportunity to represent the good people of NE Iowa.

State Representative District 57    Shannon Lundgren    Republican Party

I grew up in Dubuque and graduated from Wahlert High School before earning a certificate in Tourism and Hospitality Management from Midwest Travel and Hospitality Institute. My family and I opened Trackside Bar & Gill in Peosta in 2006. We are a family owned business where anything less than giving 110% would not be good enough. We are in our 11th year of business. Prior to opening Trackside, I served as the General Manager of the Dubuque County Fair Association through 6-fairs.

I have served on the Sunnycrest Manor Operational Board of Directors, numerous Chamber of Commerce committees and participated in High Visibility Events to raise money for organizations like the Special Olympics. Our family has helped fundraise for our local volunteer fire departments, schools and churches and we are members of St. John's parish in Placid.

My husband and I have been married for 25-years and we are the parents of two daughters who are Western Dubuque High School graduates and currently attend Iowa Colleges.

State Representative District 58    Andy McKean    Republican Party

Andy McKean is serving his eighth term in the Iowa House, after previously serving from 1978-1992. Andy is a retired attorney from Anamosa who practiced law for 35 years.  He served in both the Iowa House (1978-1992) and Iowa Senate (1992-2002).  He has also served as a Jones County Supervisor from 2003-2011.  In 2012, he was appointed by Governor Branstad to serve on the Iowa Public Information Board.  Andy is married to his wife, Connie.  The two have four adult children

State Representative District 59    Bob Kressig    Democratic Party

Bob was born in Dubuque, Iowa on December 31st, 1953, to Bob and Verdie Kressig. Bob has 2 sisters Judy Beckmann who passed away in 2012 and Peggy Kane, who lives in Waterloo. Bob attended Sacred Heart Catholic School and Columbus High School. Bob transferred to Waterloo West High and graduated, in 1972. In 1972, Bob started working at John Deere in Waterloo. Bob's parents were small business owners in Waterloo for years owning Verdie's Restaurant. He married Liz Amble in 1978 and has two daughters, Molly, who lives in Temecula, CA, and Laura, who graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2011. Bob and Liz have 2 grandchildren, Brianna and Gavin. Bob and Liz moved to Cedar Falls, to 3523 Veralta Dr., in May of 1990, and have lived at the same address ever since.
Bob attended Hawkeye Tech. and completed a maintenance welding course, in 1974. He also attended UNI and completed course work for State of Iowa Post Secondary Teaching license. During Bob's tenure at John Deere, he held various jobs, from maintenance to assembly. Toward the end of his career at John Deere, Bob was a John Deere /UAW Joint Trainer, for 10 years. Bob retired from John Deere in December of 2003 with 31 years of employment.
Bob is currently a Board member of Veridian Credit Union, since 1996, and was the Board Chairman for 3 years. He was selected by Mayor Jon Crews in 2000, to the Planning and Zoning Commission of Cedar Falls, and resigned that position in December of 2004. Bob was also the Chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission, from 2002 thru 2004. Bob also serves on the University of Northern Iowa's Metal Casting Center Board of Directors, and the Allen Hospital Child Protection Center Advisory Committee. Bob was also appointed by the legislature to serve on the Criminal Justice Information System Advisory Committee and the Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board.  
Bob ran for the Iowa House of Representatives, in 2004, and won that seat. Bob currently serves on Public Safety Committee (Ranking Member), Commerce Committee, Local Government Committee, and the Economic Development Appropriations Budget Sub Committee.
Bob joined the Cedar Falls Lions Club, in 2005. Bob is a member of the Sons of Amvets Post 49 and is a member of the UAW Local 838 retirees group Bob also enjoys riding bicycles and was a member of Rainbow Cyclists in Waterloo, for several years. He also enjoys riding RAGBRAI and has ridden 24 total RAGBRAI's.
Some of Bob's strengths are his care for his community and dedication to serve the people of Iowa House District 59 as their State Representative. Bob is open-minded, a good listener, and committed to representing the citizens. Bob is a team builder with leadership skills who is highly motivated, task oriented, and is experienced in planning and implementation processes.

State Representative District 60    Dave Williams   Democratic Party

Dave Williams announced he will run for Iowa House District 60, which includes the community of Hudson and parts of Waterloo and Cedar Falls.

Williams, through his experience as a former operations manager at John Deere and active community volunteer, understands the need for collaboration in order to identify problems, determine solutions and reach goals that result in mutual benefit for those involved. The lack of this approach led him to run for office.

Williams was born and raised in Iowa by parents who owned a small business after his father was forced by disability to leave his skilled-trades job.  He began his career as an engineer at John Deere and held a number of managerial positions of increasing responsibility during his 36 years with the company.  He was a self-employed executive coach and small business consultant after concluding his Deere career.

During his time at John Deere, Williams led the implementation of new technology and methods to ensure innovative energy and environmental management, quality improvement and operations management within his areas of responsibility.  Williams was also an adjunct professor at the University of Northern Iowa’s College of Business Administration.

Williams finds enjoyment in volunteering in his community and has served as vice president of the Cedar Falls Board of Education, chair of the Cedar Falls Utilities Board of Trustees, chair of the Cedar Falls Historic Preservation Commission, and was a key leader in the establishment of the Cedar Falls telecommunications utility. In addition to volunteering, Dave spends his free time on outdoor recreation, historic preservation, and sport touring on his motorcycle. 

State Representative District 61    Timi Brown-Powers    Democratic Party

I am a life-long advocate for those in need. I was born on Beal Air Force Base in California and raised here in Iowa and I know that helping those in need is a true Iowa value. My father is an Air Force veteran who answered his generation’s call to serve and upon coming home, found work and joined the rubber-workers union, instilling in me the value of standing for what you believe in and with your fellow Iowans. My mother was an employee of Des Moines public schools and small business owner. She taught me the importance of family values and hard work.

When I moved to Waterloo to go to school at the University of Northern Iowa, I fell in love with our community. For the past 25 years, I have worked at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, helping better the lives of patients and helping Iowans who’ve suffered from stroke, cancer, and traumatic brain injury patients, to those battling depression and mental illness. Helping Iowans is the way I was raised, the way I raised my son, and the value we need more of in state government.

State Representative District 62    Ras Smith    Democratic Party

Ras Smith was born in Waterloo, IA to L.C and Belinda Smith.  As a youth, he was often his mother’s tag along to protest, meeting’s with community leaders and other civic venues.  In 2006, Ras graduated from Malcolm Price Lab School.  He then attended Wartburg College where he studied Fitness Management and played football.  Ras later graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Exercise Science.   Ras is currently finishing his Master’s degree in Leisure, Youth and Human Services at the University of Northern Iowa.  

As a member of the community Ras has been active in mentoring youth, faith based outreach and community based exercise initiative.  As a part of youth outreach, Ras served as a volunteer football coach at East High School, while serving as the strength and conditioning coach. Ras has also been a volunteer for the Salvation Army and the Northeast Iowa Foodbank.  With an emphasis on youth development and reducing barriers to youth success, Ras was invited as a speaker at the African American Conference for Children and Families for two consecutive years, presenting on the topic of racial microgression.  

Professionally, Ras has worked with the Juvenile Court system and for Four Oaks agency providing youth counseling and assisting troubled youth in being rehabilitated to pursue a more positive future.  Most recently, Ras has served as the Site Coordinator for the nationally recognized non-profit organization, Communities In Schools.  In this role Ras works to provide “wrap-around” services for at-risk youth at George Washington Carver Academy.

State Representative District 63    Sandy Salmon    Republican Party

Sandy Salmon is serving her third term in the Iowa House. Sandy and her husband, Matt, live on an acreage between Janesville and Denver and have lived in northeast Iowa 25 years.  Currently, Sandy partners with her sister to manage the family farm in northwest Iowa.

Sandy was born in Oklahoma where her dad was stationed at the Army base Fort Sill.  After he was discharged her family moved back to the family farm near Kingsley in northwest Iowa where she grew up, raising corn, soybeans, hogs, and cattle. Sandy graduated from Kingsley-Pierson High School in 1973 and later from UNI in 1977 with a degree in Business Management. Upon graduation she was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and served from 1977-1980. Sandy met Matt in the Marines and after her discharge the couple was married, and have been for 36 years. Matt is a helicopter pilot and retired from the Iowa Army National Guard with 34 years of military service.

Sandy was a home educator for 18 years, teaching all three of the couple’s sons through K-12, graduating the youngest in 2007.  Sandy helped run an area homeschool cooperative that provided group educational activities for kids such as gym, choir, drama and speech and also served as a 4-H leader for 14 years in Black Hawk County.

Sandy and Matt have 3 sons.  Caleb and his wife, Sheridan, along with their son Ethan, are at home in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he is an attorney in his own private practice.  Jesse and his wife, Lacey, along with their 3-year old daughter, Sidney and newborn son, Titus, are stationed in Abilene, Texas where Jesse is a Captain on active duty in the Air Force and flies C-130’s.  Peter and his wife, Amy with their 1-year old son, Paul, live nearby in Cedar Falls where he is the new senior pastor at Trinity Bible Church.

Sandy is involved in a number of groups and organizations including Cornerstone Fellowship Church, NICHE-the state homeschool organization, Farm Bureau, Marine Corps League, Iowa Corn Growers, and the Black Hawk County Republican Women.

State Representative District 64    Bruce Bearinger    Democratic Party

Bruce Bearinger is a long term resident of Oelwein and a former teacher. Bruce taught high school agriculture and has served as FFA advisor at Preston, Oelwein, and Jesup high schools. During his 17 year tenure as teacher he helped with a variety of community services; including farm safety, environmental projects, and charity events. He has previously worked as the Education Director for Iowa State Extension in Buchannan County and Regional Extension Director. He is currently the Economic Development Director at Oelwein Chamber and Area Development.

For the upcoming legislative session, Rep. Bearinger will serve on the Appropriations, Agriculture, and Economic Growth Committees.

Bearinger served on the Oelwein city council and served on the economic development finance committee, worked on local food initiatives, and helped develop a health and wellness survey for Oelwein. Bruce was a member of the Oelwein Jaycees, a member of the Oelwein Rotary Club, and a donor to the Fine Arts Guild of Oelwein.

Bearinger helped launch the Heartland Acres Agribition Center in Independence and served on its first Board of Directors. While working for ISU Extension, he also served on the Buchannan County Food Pantry Board and the Volunteer Coop Board. Bruce was also with the Feed Department Manager at the Maynard Coop.

He and his wife, Eileen, live in Oelwein and are active at Sacred Health Catholic Church. His wife works at Fidelity Bank and they have two children. Their son, Kurt, is working towards his Masters of Community and Regional Planning at Iowa State University and is a graduate of Luther College in Decorah where he played basketball and was active in vocal music. Their daughter, Rachel, is studying music education the University of Northern Iowa.

State Representative District 65    Liz Bennett    Democratic Party

Liz Bennett grew up in the Quad Cities, in a family with a rich tradition of community service. Liz’s maternal grandmother was a long-time volunteer with the Visiting Nurses Association. Liz’s paternal grandmother lobbied successfully to become one of the first female members of her local Optimists' Club. Liz’s father, Steve, is a retired State Trooper, Vietnam Veteran, volunteer firefighter, Fleet Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and Boy Scout leader. Liz's mom, Cathy, worked as a court reporter until her children were born. Cathy became a full time stay-at-home mom, and an active community volunteer.

Liz has continued her family's tradition of service, volunteering in the past with Cedar Rapids AniMeals and the German Shepherd Dog Rescue of Iowa. Central to Liz's passion for service is her commitment to working for social justice and Democratic values. In 2007, Liz became an active volunteer with the Obama campaign. Liz spent countless hours making phone calls and recruiting friends to caucus for President Obama. Liz was elected to Linn County Democratic Central Committee in 2009 and has continued to be an active Democratic volunteer. Liz chaired her precinct caucus in 2010 and chaired float-building for the Linn Co. Democrats entry in the 2011 Freedom Fest parade. Liz has called and knocked on doors for many campaigns, including Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt, Rep. Art Staed, and Sen. Liz Mathis. Fellow Democrats showed their trust and faith in Liz by electing Liz as a Delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Liz worked her way through college as a server at Granite City in Cedar Rapids. In addition to working long hours at Granite City, Liz graduated with a double-major in Politics and Women's Studies from Cornell College. Immediately after graduating from college, Liz worked at a firm which provides financial planning for individuals with disabilities. Many people know Liz through her work as a volunteer and Regional Organizer for One Iowa, where she worked to preserve the freedom to marry for all Iowans. Since 2011 Liz has worked at Go Daddy, an internet company in Hiawatha. Liz has held various positions at Go Daddy including New Hire Training Associate, Quality Management and Technical Support. Prior to starting college at Cornell, Liz worked for over three years as a small business advertising consultant at Yellow Book.

After Iowa House District 65 Representative Tyler Olson decided not to seek re-election, Liz was urged by many local Democrats to run for Tyler’s seat. Liz is grateful for the opportunities and quality-of-life Iowa has provided her, and took up the challenge of running for the Iowa House in order to continue Rep. Olson’s hard work and dedication representing Iowa House District 65. Liz will work hard to ensure future generations have the same opportunity to succeed as Liz was provided.

Liz formally kicked off her campaign at a successful fund raising event at Brewed Café on Saturday, November 9, 2013.

State Representative District 66    Art Staed    Democratic Party

Art Staed hails from Joplin, Missouri, one of 11 kids. He graduated from McAuley Regional Catholic High School, earned his college degree at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, a Master’s degree in Secondary Education at The University of Missouri at K.C. and a second Master’s in Secondary Administration from East Central University of Oklahoma.

A Leader in Education and the Community

Art’s passion for education spurred a ‘Communities in Schools’ program targeting at-risk students using mentoring programs, tutoring, mental health assistance, human services and counseling to help kids stay in school. His program received national recognition at a White House ceremony for creative and successful business-school partnerships.

The rate of domestic violence in the local community troubled Art, and he worked determinedly to provide assistance, counseling and a safe haven for victims of abuse. He co-founded The Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma and served as a Board member while writing grants for construction and operational costs.

Business Manager

Briefly leaving education for a career with U.S. Cellular, Art quickly became a direct sales supervisor and manager of numerous retail stores, including opening and operating new stores for the company. This required Art to identify new markets, help find new locations for stores, arrange for their lease and remodeling, and to hire, train and manage store employees.

U.S. Cellular brought Art to Cedar Rapids as a national trainer to work with managers and front line sales associates throughout the country in a host of management, sales, and business development courses. He was responsible for providing more than 30 different certified professional training courses.

After making the decision to return to public education and updating and expanding his credentials, Art taught Business Management and Time Management courses at Kirkwood and developed workforce training at the Iowa Workforce Development office in Cedar Rapids.

Art and his wife Susan recently sold Coffee Talk Café, where he hosted “Coffee Talk: Corridor Conversations”, a videotaped series of talks with local community leaders regarding issues that affect the Cedar Rapids community. The coffee shop was a successful small business that provided a “refuge”, a place of peace where people could get away, relax, and enjoy great coffee. Art says that running a business presents many challenges, but it also brings great rewards. He says that the best part was working there with his wife and getting to know all the customers, along with being part of a great community and contributing to that community.

Legislative Experience

The citizens of district 37 elected Art to the Iowa House Representative in 2007-2008 where he served as Vice Chairman of both the Education Committee and the Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee. He also represented Iowans on the Economic Growth, Labor, and Veterans Affairs committees.

On the Education Committee, Art championed efforts to provide preschool for all Iowa’s eligible children and 4% allowable growth in the state’s kindergarten through 12 grade education budget. He worked to pass legislation that improved teacher salaries from 48th in the nation to 25th. Art worked with colleagues to get additional aid for private school students, the Iowa Tuition Grant Program and the All-Iowa Opportunity Grants for college aid. He helped move the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative to passage in the House and supported a record level of support for community colleges and universities. Art also supported after school programs and grants to help struggling students get help to reach grade level and to stay in school.

On the Veterans Affairs Committee, Art helped floor-manage the Veterans homeowner assistance program and the expanded charitable programs that provide financial assistance to needy and homeless Iowa Veterans. He was concerned about Iowa’s Veterans, so he moved legislation to provide and train Veterans’ Affairs officials to assist Veterans in every county and to finally pay Vietnam Veteran Bonuses that had been unpaid since 1973.

On the Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Art assisted in moving the bill creating the Iowa Power Fund, a blueprint for funding State renewable energy workforce programs. The Iowa Power Fund brings Iowa closer to energy independence, making Iowa a renewable energy provider, and promoting well-paying jobs. Art also supported the expansion of incentives targeted to small business development centers. And finally, he helped expand historic preservation tax credits, match funding for recreational trails, and additional funding for Iowa tourism.

At the conclusion of Art’s term, “the House was in order” with a balanced and sound fiscal budget: a cash reserve fund of $444 million, an economic emergency fund of $138 million, a fully funded Medicaid program and a repayment of $144 million to the senior living trust fund.

Currently, Art teaches secondary education and is active in the Cedar Rapids Education Association. You will also find him out knocking on voters’ doors, getting voter input, nearly every evening.  He resides in Cedar Rapids with his wife Susan. They have four children and five grandchildren.

State Representative District 67     Ashley Hinson    Republican Party

Ashley Hinson is seeking her first term in the Iowa House.

Ashley grew up in Des Moines.  After high school, she attended college at the University of Southern California and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism.  For more than a decade she’s worked as a news anchor, reporter, and producer at KCRG-TV9 in Cedar Rapids connecting with the community, policy makers, and businesses.

She’s a volunteer for dozens of community organizations, including the NCSML, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, March of Dimes, Young Parents Network, National Council on Youth Leadership, The History Center, and Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa.

Ashley is married to her husband, Matthew, and they have two young sons.

State Representative District 68     Molly Donahue    Democratic Party   

Molly was born and raised in Cedar Rapids Metro where she graduated from Washington High School, the school where she now teaches. 

Raised in a family with deep Iowa connections, Molly learned the value of hard work from her parents and as a teen working to save for college.

As a 28-year veteran teacher, Molly is running for the State House with the same values she was raised with and instills in her students –  hard work, integrity, and equality.

Molly is proud to live and work in the community that she wants to represent. 

“Being invested in the success of your neighbors is the key to making good choices at the State house.”

State Representative District 69    Kirsten Running-Marquardt    Democratic Party

Representative Kirsten Running-Marquardt is serving her 3rd term in the Iowa House of Representatives. Kirsten was elected in a special election in Nov. 2009 and currently serves as a Ranking Member on the Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee and also serves on the full Appropriations, Economic Growth, and Labor Committees.

Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt is a 6th generation Iowan born & raised in Cedar Rapids, graduated from LaSalle High School, attended Kirkwood Community College, graduated from the University of Iowa and moved back to Cedar Rapids with her husband Coy Marquardt. Kirsten, Coy and their son, Jack, a 2nd Grader at Prairie Hill Elementary, proudly call Cedar Rapids home.

Kirsten is a member of NARFE, CRnetWork, Iron Workers Local 89, John XXIII Catholic Church, and a board member of the Iowa Small Business Development Centers. Kirsten was previously a Director of Iowa for Health Care, and served our community working for a member of our Iowa federal delegation.

State Representative District 70    Tracy Ehlert    Democratic Party

Tracy Ehlert owns and operates B2K Learning Center & Consulting, a State Registered, NAFCC Accredited, QRS 5 Rated Child Development Home and offers coaching, mentoring, training, and consulting services on early care and education topics at a local, state, and national level. She is a Continuing Education Instructor for Kirkwood Community College and the Early Care & Education Program through Iowa State University Extension & Outreach and a Level 3 Instructor for CCR&R (Child Care Resource & Referral). She is the Permanent Building Sub at Hoover Elementary and subs as a K-5 teacher as the schools on site sub. She is a committee member on a variety of committees including, Iowa's QRS Oversight Committee, IAEYC's Early Childhood Workforce Advisory Committee (formally T.E.A.C.H./WAGE$ committee), Iowa Farm2ECE Coalition, and a National T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Alliance council member. She is a Terri Lynne Lokoff Ambassador, a NAFCC Accreditation Self-Study Ambassador, a previous Board Member of CR-IAEYC (she hit the term limit and is now just a member of CR-IAEYC) and the Preschool Room Child Care Coordinator and Ready to Read Facilitator for YPN along with a SCAN (Save the Children Action Network) Volunteer. Her formal education background is in Business, Child Development, and Early Childhood Education. She has also had the honor of being named a 2018 Exchange Leader by Exchange Magazine, received a 2018 Leading for Change Innovative Idea Award, was a recipient the 2018 Chris Carman Friend of Children Award, a 2015 Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children's Tylenol National Child Care Teacher Award winner, was named December 2015 Provider of the Month by Child Care Aware of America and was one of three 2016 Let's Move Child Care Innovator Award Winners. As well as being named top 10 CACFP people of 2016 and a 2016 CACFP Gold Auctioneer, and was inducted into the Golden Key International Honour Society in 2017.

State Representative District 71    Mark Smith    Democratic Party

Mark Smith is serving his 8th term in the Iowa House. Before being elected House Democratic Leader, he served as an Assistant Democratic Leader and on the Administration and Rules, Environmental Protection, Ethics, Human Resources, Judiciary and Legislative Council committees.

Mark Smith was born in Osceola, Iowa on January 5, 1952, the son of R. Eugene and Betty Danner Smith. His family lived on a farm near Osceola until moving to Winterset, where Mark graduated from high school in 1970 and received a college scholarship.

After graduation, Mark worked in a special nutritional and recreational program for children through Iowa State Extension Services. That led him to study social work first at Graceland College (BA, 1974) and then the University of Iowa (MSW, 1986).

Mark has spent his entire career helping people. He has worked with troubled children and their families, treated substance abuse, directed services to the mentally ill, and made sure nursing homes provide quality care for the elderly. Mark was among the first to provide early mental health counseling to children through the schools. He was the Director of Special Projects at the Substance Abuse Treatment Unit of Central Iowa (SATUCI).

He is often called on to train substance abuse counselors and social workers. Mark was one of two members of the Iowa General Assembly to work at the World Trade Center following the attack on America on 9-11-01.

120827-0171Mark and his wife, Karen Lischer, have a daughter, Allie. Mark is the former foster parent of two, Kevin Eggert of Clearfield and Darwin Eggert of Henok, and is now a grandparent to eleven foster grandchildren.

Mark attends Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where he serves as an Elder and teaches Sunday school to adults with special needs.

Mark is an avid bicyclist who has ridden numerous RAGBRAIs and bicycle treks in other states. He is past president of the Marshalltown Morning Optimist Club.

State Representative District 72    Dean Fisher    Republican Party 

Dean Fisher is serving his third term in the Iowa House.

Dean is a fifth-generation Iowa farmer and owns and operates a Heritage Farm that has been in his family since 1852.

Dean was raised in Tama County and upon graduation from South Tama High school in 1975, Dean went on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology at the DeVry Institute of Technology in Chicago.

After a successful career in the electronics industry, Dean realized his dream of returning to the family farm in 2004 and he joined his brother, Brad, in managing a 120-head herd of beef cows.  The Fisher’s retired from active farming in 2014 and now rent out their land to neighboring farmers.  Dean still works to maintain the farm property.

Over the last seven years, Dean has served as a Precinct Election Chairman, been elected twice to serve as Township Clerk, was elected as the Tama County Republican Party County Chairman and was appointed to the Tama County Pioneer Cemetery Association.

State Representative District 73    Bobby Kaufmann    Republican Party

Bobby Kaufmann is serving his third term in the Iowa House.

Kaufmann grew up on his family’s farm in rural Wilton and is a graduate of Wilton High School.  He attended Muscatine Community College where he received the Outstanding Student of the Year Award.  He went on to study business at the University of Iowa.

After college he purchased and remodeled a brick home built in 1876.  Kaufmann is a crop and livestock farmer who also owns and operates a steel hauling, construction and demolition business in Cedar County.

Kaufmann is a member of the Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association, Cedar County Historical Society, Cedar County Soldiers Monument Association and a wide variety of service and volunteer organizations


State Representative District 74    Dave Jacoby    Democratic Party

David Jacoby is serving his 6th term in the Iowa House.  He is a Ranking Member of the Appropriations committee.  He also serves on the Commerce, Economic Growth, and the Veterans’ Affairs Committees.

Dave was born and raised in Marion, Iowa to George and Millie Jacoby, who are now retired. Dave graduated from Marion High School and earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Northern Iowa.

Dave was elected to two terms on the Coralville City Council, where he was a leader in developing policy in a high growth and community oriented city. His service on the Council has been an asset in the Legislature in understanding the challenges of local government.

Dave worked as a Program Director of Workforce Initiatives for 23 years at Kirkwood Community College.  He now runs a small business, Dave’s Resale, and is STEM Coordinator at University of Iowa.  He is also a member of Carpenter’s Local 1260.

Dave’s wife Lynette is a Director of Johnson County Social Services. She has earned her Bachelor of Arts and Masters in Social Work from the University of Iowa. They have two daughters: Ellie, 16 and Anna 14, who both attend Iowa City West High School.  They have two rescue golden retrievers Sophia and Shea.

Dave is active in the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, serving on the Economic Growth Committee. He is a Board Member of the Youth Leadership Program. He also served on the Alternative School Committee, Empowerment Board, and Juvenile Justice Committee. He is also a member of the Victory Riders Association, and Parents Against Synthetic Drugs.

The Jacobys attend St Thomas More Catholic Church.

State Representative District 75    Tom Gerhold    Republican Party

I was raised on a farm – and taught the meaning of life, hard work, compassion, honesty, and integrity in a Christian home by wonderful parents, and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.  I have incorporated good points from my parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, etc. to make me a better person.

The important issues facing Iowans, not necessarily in this order, are agriculture, education, health care/mental health, and taxes.  The prices of ag commodities have not been very good and need more ways of promoting uses and customers here and abroad.

Education is always an important issue, and preparing today’s students for the challenges of tomorrow with the best teachers possible and keep Iowa one of the best in the country is a priority.

Healthcare and mental health care costs need to be improved.  It’s not right for premiums to cost so much, and I will work with professionals in these areas to lower costs without affecting the quality of care.

Taxes paid by hard working Iowans can and should be lowered.  There are studies that prove when taxes are lowered, it brings in more revenue to the Treasury.

There are wonderful people in District 75 with great ideas, and I plan on working with them to make this great state of Iowa even better!

State Representative District 76    Dave Maxwell    Republican Party    

Dave Maxwell is serving his third term in the Iowa House.

Dave grew up in the Deep River area, graduated from Montezuma High School in 1961, worked for three years to earn money for college, and then attended the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University. College was curtailed because of the Vietnam War. He spent three years in the U.S. Army, one of them in Pleiku, Republic of Vietnam.

Upon returning to civilian life, he went into the farm tiling business with a cousin. In 1974 he decided to go into business for himself and Maxwell Tiling, Inc. continues today.

Maxwell has been an active member of LICA (Land Improvement Contractors of America) and has served as District Chairman, State Vice-President and State President. He is also a member of AGC of Iowa (Associated General Contractors).

He has been active in the United Church of Deep River for many years, currently serving as lay leader and is a Methodist “certified lay speaker.” He is a member of Legion Post 296 of Deep River and has served as Commander for the past seven years.

Dave and Kris have four children and ten grandchildren.

State Representative District 77    Amy Nielsen    Democratic Party

Amy was elected the first female Mayor of North Liberty in 2014 after spending years being active in her community as a voice for those that are often unheard. She built a reputation as someone who can get things done by starting the first (and largest) Walking School Bus in Johnson County in 2012. That program is still used today across the state as an example of what a successful program looks like. Seeing the growing and diverse needs of children and families across the economic spectrum, she joined the North Liberty Community Pantry Board of Directors, the Iowa CIty Blue Zones Project, and is currently active on the ICCSD Community Education District-wide Advisory Council and is chair of the ICCSD Equity Advisory Committee.

Since being elected Mayor, Amy has continued to be involved in working with others on local concerns, including affordable housing, raising the county minimum wage, and implementing a community ID program.

Amy has also lead the way to bringing the first intra-city transit service to residents of North Liberty, and is known for being a progressive voice to the city council.


Campaign manager for Lisa Green-Douglass: Johnson County Supervisor, 2014
Secretary, Education Platform Committee Johnson County Democrats, 2014
Campaign co-chair for Chris Lynch: ICCSD School Board, 2013
Member, committee for RPS Yes campaign, 2013
Volunteer, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, 2012

Garner Elementary 2011-2015

Walking School Bus Director, 2012-2015
Started Walking School Bus program, 2012
PTO Volunteer Coordinator, 2012-2013
PTO Secretary, 2011-2012
Classroom Volunteer
Facilitator for physical education Mileage Club program
Principal Search Committee Member

North Central Junior High 2012

PSTO Volunteer Coordinator

North Liberty Community Pantry 2014-2015

Member Board of Directors North Liberty Community Pantry 2014-2015
Pantry Volunteer

Iowa City Blue Zones Project

Co-Chair, Walking School Bus Committee

Additional volunteer work

District Parent Association (DPO), 2011-2013
ICCSD Equity Advisory Committee, 2014-present
ICCSD Community Education District-wide Advisory Council, 2015-present
Music Auxiliary, parent representative, 2011-2014; Car Wash coordinator, 2014; Car Wash site chair, 2013
YSF football league—Head of Communications, 2013-2014
Manager, Silent Auction fundraiser for local family’s Mission Trip to Africa, 2014
Coordinated spaghetti dinner and silent auction benefit for local family, 2012

State Representative District 78    Jarad Klein    Republican Party

Jarad Klein is serving his fourth term in the Iowa House.

Jarad is the fifth-generation to grow up on the family farm north of Keota.  Jarad graduated from Keota High School in 1999 and purchased his first 80 acres of farmland in Washington County.  Jarad went on to attend Drake University.

During his freshman year at Drake, Jarad started his career in politics.  He began as an intern for George W. Bush’s Presidential Campaign in 1999-2000.  He went on to clerk at the Iowa Statehouse for two years.  During the summer of 2001, Jarad joined the Leadership Institute in Arlington, VA.  While attending school, Jarad also served as the Southeast Field Representative for the Republican Party of Iowa.

Following school, Jarad returned to full-time production agriculture, but had interest in politics ever since.  Jarad met his wife, Rachel, during their freshman year of college and together they have four young children.

Jarad has served as the Keokuk County Republican Party Chairman and the Republican Party of Iowa Rules Chair.

He is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the Washington County Pork Producers, Washington County Farm Bureau, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Pheasants Forever and the National Rifle Association.

He was elected as a House Majority Assistant Leader in 2014.

State Representative District 79    Dustin Hite     Republican Party

Dustin grew up in rural Mahaska County outside of New Sharon and graduated from North Mahaska High School.  He went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in History, Economics, and Social Sciences from Central College in Pella and then graduated from Law School at the University of Iowa.  Today he is a Partner at the Heslinga, Dixon & Hite Law Firm where he has a general practice.  He has served as the Mayor of New Sharon since 2012 and is the city attorney for several local small towns.

Dustin has a lengthy history of community service.  He served on the Mahaska County United Way Board (including stints as President, Vice President, and Treasurer), the Iowa Judicial District 8A Judicial Nominating Commission, and on the North Mahaska School Improvement Advisory Committee.  Currently he serves on the Mahaska County Magistrate Nominating Commission, he is the Chairman of the Mahaska County 911 Board, and also serves on the Mahaska County Emergency Management Commission.  Dustin and his wife, Kate have two young daughters.  The family attends St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Oskaloosa.  Dustin can be found sitting in the bandstand in the Oskaloosa City Square on Thursday nights where he plays the trombone.

Dustin is running for the Iowa House of Representatives to represent the citizens of District 79, which encompasses western Mahaska County, northeastern Marion County, and the cities of Pella, Oskaloosa, New Sharon, Beacon, University Park, and Leighton.

“I have been fortunate to reap the benefits of growing up in rural Iowa, and I am proud to raise my daughters here.  I want this state to continue to be a place that will provide the opportunities and benefits for generations to come.  I look forward to representing the citizens of Mahaska and Marion Counties.”   -Dustin


State Representative District 80    Holly Brink    Republican Party

Holly Brink is a wife, mother, business owner, farmer and a proud lifelong resident of Southern Iowa.

Brink grew up on a farm in Keokuk County and is a graduate of Oskaloosa High School. She attended William Penn University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with endorsements in American History, Psychology and Coaching. Brink and her husband, Adam, live on their family farm north of Oskaloosa.

Brink currently works as a District Sales Coordinator for American Family Life Assurance of Columbus (Aflac) along with working on the family farm with her husband and three children, Garisin, Baylen, and Harbor. She and her family attend the First Christian Reformed Church in Oskaloosa.

For the past 10 years, Brink’s career with Aflac has focused on working with businesses in Southern Iowa to help provide strategies and solutions for the changing workforce markets. She also works closely with individuals to help them understand their insurance options. 

Brink has been actively involved in the community as a member of the Oskaloosa Chamber and Development Board, the Rotary, and serves on a steering committee of the Oskaloosa Christian School’s largest fundraiser, as well as other organizations throughout the region. She was also instrumental in the development and finance of the Pre-K system in her community.

State Representative District 81    Mary Gaskill     Democratic Party

Mary Gaskill is serving her eighth term in the Iowa House. She is a ranking member of the Economic Growth committee. She serves on Local Government and Ways and Means committees.

Mary grew up on a small family farm in Northwest Missouri. She is the daughter of Andrew and Lucile Meyer, and moved to Iowa in 1962 and has lived in Ottumwa since 1966.

After graduation from high school in 1959, Mary attended Business School at Gard University in St. Joseph, Missouri. In addition to her State Representative service Mary enjoys doing community volunteer work in Ottumwa. Previously, Mary completed twenty-two years of dedicated service to Wapello County, sixteen as County Auditor and six as clerk to the County Auditor.

Mary resides in Ottumwa. Mary is the widow of Jim, a retired Iowa State Trooper. Their four children all live in Iowa and she is the proud grandmother of seven grandchildren.

Mary seeks to continue to be interested in economic growth issues that will improve the state as well as benefit hard working families of her district. She believes that farmers and small business owners are the backbone of Iowa’s economy and, therefore, advocates that we do all we can to enable them to prosper. Mary is a member of the Rural Caucus and is working to enhance the opportunities in rural Iowa. Moreover, she feels that her experience growing up, working on a farm, provides her with a firm understanding of agricultural issues and her husband previously was a small business owner.

Mary is concerned about the future of our schools. Education from preschool to graduate school must remain a priority. She is working on Governor Branstad’s Future Ready Iowa Alliance. We are opening up access to quality preschool to all children, helping keep good teachers in the classrooms and improving discipline in our schools. We must continue these efforts, and improve upon them.

Iowans are also worried about healthcare. Mary is continuing to work to see that all Iowans, especially children have access to healthcare. We need to train students and workers for the jobs of the future so that we can attract new business to our state. And we must preserve our natural resources and provide a clean environment to live in, especially water and air.

She likes being able to help constituents with problem solving and is looking forward to an eighth term at the State House. Mary has a lot of political experience, having run for State Representative eight times and four campaigns for County Auditor. In addition, she has served on the County/City Jail Planning Committee, worked on the Local Option Sales Tax Committee, actively participated in Planning Meetings for the City of Ottumwa, is currently serving on the International Video Game Hall of Fame & Museum Board, and is a past chair of the Wapello County Democrats.

Over the years, Mary has been extremely active in her community. In 2001, she received a Volunteer Award from Governor Vilsack for her work on the Foster Care Review Board. She is currently a member of the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters, Toastmaster International, Catholic Daughter of America, the Ottumwa Noon Lions Club and St. Mary of the Visitation Church. Mary also serves on the States Commission on Aging.

Mary continues to focus on serving her community by supporting legislation that will improve Iowa to make it a great place to live.

State Representative      District 82    Jeff Shipley    Republican Party

Jeff Shipley moved to Fairfield seven years ago for health and healing, and is a fierce proponent of truth and positivity.

Since crafting his comedy as a regular fixture and occasional host of Cafe Paradiso’s weekly Open Microphone, Jeff has found the performance arts to be a tremendous source of personal growth. Not afraid of being vulnerable, Jeff’s nonchalant sharing of deep personal thoughts leaves audiences in stitches.  Jeff connects his authenticity with his professional life as a sales consultant for renewable energy and fermented vegetables, and as an advocate for peace and prosperity in the political realm.

Jeff grew up in Naperville, IL, and became an Iowan upon enrollment at the University of Iowa where he was recognized as an ‘Outstanding Student Leader’ for his conservative political advocacy and graduated with a degree in Political Science.

State Representative District 83    Jeff Kurtz     Democratic Party

Jeff Kurtz was born in Fort Madison and has lived there most of his life. Jeff graduated from Aquinas High School in 1972. He attended Southeastern Iowa Community College and Iowa State University before joining the Santa Fe Railroad in 1974, first as a locomotive fireman before being promoted to locomotive engineer in 1975. 

As a BNSF engineer, Jeff joined the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), part of the Teamster Rail Conference. Throughout his career, Jeff held multiple positions within the union, including serving as President of BLET Local 391 for eight years and as Iowa State Legislative Board Chairman from 2004-2014, where Jeff lobbied extensively for rail safety at both state and federal levels. Jeff retired from the BNSF Railroad in 2014 with almost forty-one years of service. 

Jeff has long been active with the labor movement in Iowa. Most recently he was a co-chair of the Lee County Raise the Wage Coalition which succeeded in passing a local minimum wage ordinance prior to the legislature's preemption bill. 

Jeff has been married to his wife Debbie for 38 years and they are the proud parents of three children, Adam (Ft. Madison, IT Specialist with Conn Communications), Nathan (Maryland, Project Scientist with NASA's Operation Ice Bridge), and Mindy McPherson (Cedar Rapids, a Product Owner with ACT student testing). They also have four grandchildren.

State Representative District 84    Joe Mitchell    Republican Party

Joe grew up in Wayland and graduated from Waco High School.  He is currently a senior at Drake University in Des Moines and will graduate with his Bachelor’s Degree in Business.  While going to school, Joe has worked at the Capitol for the last four legislative sessions. This past session he interned with a multi-client lobbying firm where he helped represent a variety of clients on issues involving healthcare, taxes, education funding, and regulations.

Joe’s parents, John and Jean started a small manufacturing business in Wayland, MD Orthopedics.  The business has been in operation for more than 15 years and employs nearly 30 full-time employees.  After graduating from Drake, Joe plans to move home to southeast Iowa and help his father run the family business.

Joe is an avid trap shooter, fisherman, and golfer.  He enjoys serving on mission trips where he helps those who are less fortunate.  At home in southeast Iowa, he attends Harmony Bible Church.

In the House, Joe will work to ensure the state has a balanced budget and ensure taxpayers are protected from wasteful government spending.  He will also work to improve mental health accessibility and ensure Medicaid remains sustainable into the future.

State Representative District 85    Vicki Lensing     Democratic Party

Vicki Lensing is serving her 9th term in the Iowa House. She serves on the State Government Oversight, Environmental Protection, Local Government, and Judiciary committees.

Vicki was born June 21, 1957 in Iowa City, the daughter of John and Patti Mott. She grew up in the family business, Mott’s Drug Store, which was owned and operated by her grandparents. A life long resident of Iowa City, she graduated from West High School in 1975 and from the University of Iowa in 1979.

Vicki is co-owner of Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service. She developed and facilitated several bereavement support groups for adults and children, and works actively with Iowa City Hospice, Iowa Children’s Hospital, Mercy Hospital, local community groups on educational and support programs.

She is married to Rich Templeton. She has three children: Amanda and Alex who both live in Iowa City, and Nick, who lives in Austin, Texas.

She served as chair of the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce in 2000 and is a 1996 graduate of the Community Leadership Program.

She also served on the board of the Community Foundation of Johnson County. She is past president of the Johnson County Woman’s Network. She is one of the co-founders of the Woman’s Leadership Circle of the Johnson County United Way. In 2009, Vicki was recognized as a Woman of Influence and received the Friend of the Family Farmer Award from the Iowa Farmers Union.

She currently serves on the Community Foundation of Johnson County Grants Review Committee, DMACC Mortuary Science Advisory Committee, Elder Services, and 5224 Good Grants Committee.

Vicki was formerly President of Preferred Funeral Directors International.

State Representative District 86    Mary Mascher     Democratic Party

Mary Mascher is serving her 12th term in the Iowa House of Representatives. She serves on the Education, Human Resources, State Government committees and the Transportation Infrastructure Appropriations Subcommittee.

Mary was born September 22, 1952, in Iowa City, the sixth child of twelve children of Harry and Lucille Seelman of Iowa City. The Seelman’s 420 acre century farm is located in rural Johnson County.

Mary started school in Cosgrove and went to Regina Catholic High School in Iowa City, where she was elected junior class president.

After graduation in 1970, Mary continued her Catholic education at Ottumwa Heights Junior College, where she participated in the concert and madrigal choirs. After one year in Ottumwa she returned home in 1971 to marry Dick Mascher. Mary’s son Jason and his wife, Lyndsey, have twin sons, Aden and Cale.

Deciding she wanted to teach, Mary entered the University of Iowa in 1972 and graduated four years later with a degree in elementary education. She has since earned a master’s degree in counseling education from the University of Iowa and worked as a counselor at Roosevelt Elementary. After teaching for 33 years in the Iowa City schools, Mary retired from teaching in June of 2009.

Mary has been very active in her community. She helped organize the first girls’ softball league in Iowa City and served on its board of directors. Since 1988 she has sung and acted in numerous productions of the Iowa City Community Theater, and also served on their board of directors.

She has been a member of the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Commission, the Iowa City Riverfront Commission, and was president of the Iowa City Education Association. From 1992-1997 Mary served on the State Sesquicentennial Commission.

In 1994, Mary was elected to the Iowa House where she has been an advocate for women, children and families. Mary serves on the State Reading Recovery Advisory Board and Executive Committee. Mary was appointed by Governor Vilsack to the State Council on Continuous Improvement of Educational Excellence.

Mary has received numerous honors/awards for her service and leadership. A few are listed below:

1996 – Iowa Counseling Associations’ Legislator of the Year Award

1999 – National Reading Recovery Teacher Leader Friend of Education

2003 – Girl Scouts of Mississippi Valley – Growing Strong Award

2010 – Corridor Business Journal – Women of Influence Award

2011 – Heritage Agency on Aging – Outstanding Elected Public Official

2012 – Iowa Physician’s Assistant Society – Outstanding Leadership Award

2013 – Iowa Pride Network – Roger Wendt Education Award

2014 – DAWN State Elected Official Award

State Representative District 87    Dennis M. Cohoon     Democratic Party

Dennis Cohoon is serving his 15th term in the Iowa House. He is ranking member of the Transportation, Infrastructure and Capitals Appropriations Subcommittee and also serves on Education, Transportation, and State Government.

Dennis was born March 29, 1953 in Burlington, the son of Meril and Marie Cohoon. His father was a railroad worker for the Burlington Northern, and his mother was a homemaker. Dennis has two sisters, Judy and Sally, who both live in Burlington.

Dennis is a lifelong Burlington resident. He attended Burlington High School where he ran track and graduated in 1971. He then attended Southeastern Community College, earning an associate’s degree in 1974 in business. From 1973-79, Dennis served in the Iowa Army National Guard, assigned to the 224th Engineer Battalion based in Burlington.

He graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and business education and minors in special education and psychology. He has done graduate work in special education at the University of Iowa.

In 1978, he began teaching in the Burlington school district. He retired in 2010 after 32 years as a special education teacher at Burlington High School, where he worked with mentally disabled teenagers who needed a specialized curriculum.

Dennis and his wife, Sue, were married in 1998. Sue is an algebra instructor for Southeastern Community College. They have four step children, and seven grandchildren.

He became interested in politics during the Kennedy-Nixon Presidential race in 1960 and worked in several local races before running himself.

He has represented Iowa House Democrats on the Education Commission of States, which brings together education leaders from each state to meet and discuss education policy in their state, then share their discussions with leaders from across the nation.

Dennis is a past member of the Burlington Education Association, the Geode Education Association, and the Iowa State Education Association. He is a member of the Des Moines County Democratic Central Committee. He attends the First Christian Church.

Dennis has a substantial collection of Presidential memorabilia, including buttons, stamps, cards, and busts, which he has been collecting since he was seven years old. He is also a sports fan, especially of Hawkeye basketball and New York Yankees baseball.

State Representative District 88    David Kerr     Republican Party
David Kerr is serving his first term in the Iowa House.

Kerr is a lifelong resident of Louisa County, growing up on a farm near Wapello.  He graduated from Wapello Community Schools and went on to receive his AA Degree in General Studies from Muscatine Community College.

Kerr worked at Kinder Morgan Inc. for 44 years, most recently in the Damage Prevention Unit based out of Columbus Junction.  Today, he farms full-time with his wife.

Kerr will bring a lifetime of agricultural experience to the Legislature, as well as common sense solutions to Iowa’s most pressing issues.  He says strong schools, a competitive tax climate, and a prosperous economy will also be a primary focus of his campaign.

Kerr and his wife, Joyce, have been married for 47 years and have two daughters and one granddaughter; Angela Kerr of Bloomington/Normal, IL and Audra Brown of Morning Sun.  Audra is married to Ken and they have a daughter, Olivia.  The Kerrs attend Faith Christian Outreach Church in Mt. Pleasant, where Kerr serves as a member of the Board of Directors.

State Representative District 89    Monica Kurth     Democratic Party

Monica Kurth is serving her 1st term in the Iowa House. Monica has dedicated her life to serving Davenport. As a counselor and instructor at Scott Community College for over 20 years, Monica has focused on preparing our community for the 21st century economy. Monica has two grown children and is an active member of Quad-Cities Interfaith of Davenport.

State Representative District 90    Cindy Winckler     Democratic Party

Cindy Winckler is serving her 8th term in the Iowa House. She has been a member of Economic Development budget subcommittee, ranking member of Labor and Industrial Relations committee, and chair and ranking member of Education Appropriations budget subcommittee. She also has served on the Appropriations, Judiciary, Local Government, Labor, Ways and Means, Environmental Protection and Human Resources Committees. She presently is Ranking Member on the Education Appropriations subcommittee and serves on the Education, Human Resources and State Government committees. Cindy is also an ex-officio member of the Iowa College Student Aid Commission and the Council on Educator Development.
Cindy Winckler was born in Des Moines, Iowa. She moved to Davenport when she was young, and has continued to be a part of the Davenport community throughout her adult years. Public service has been a part of her family background. Her dad owned the snack bar at the Scott County Court House, through an agreement with the county and the disabled veterans organization. Her mother was a long-time deputy city clerk and city alderman.
She is a graduate of West High School in Davenport. She earned a BSE in Home Economics from Northeast Missouri State University and her master’s degree in Educational Technology from the University of Northern Iowa. While earning her master’s degree, she received First Place in the UNI research award for her paper, “Building an Instructional Model for High Schools of the 21st Century.”
Cindy has been a family and consumer science teacher in small and large school districts in Iowa – Davis County, Pleasant Valley, Calamus and Davenport. She retired as a Quality Learning Consultant with the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency in Bettendorf and continues her work on education equity issues. In her capacity as a Quality Learning Consultant, she worked with teachers, administrators and school districts to plan and implement student achievement initiatives. Cindy was named Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers in February 2000.
Cindy and her husband, Joe, have been married since 1973. They have two adult children, Joseph Bradley and Courtney Elizabeth. Her son, Joe, his wife Jennifer, and son Alex reside in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Courtney and her husband Jeff and their children Evelyn, Haley, Meghan and Samuel reside in Bloomington, Illinois.
Cindy has been a member of Business and Professional Women for many years, and served as national president of that organization in 1994-95. She gained her passion for issues relating to civil rights, workplace equity, access to quality education and assuring that quality healthcare is available to everyone through the legislative initiatives of this bipartisan organization.
She has received the Legislator of the Year twice for the Area 9 Counseling Association. Cindy was named a national Flemming Fellow, class of 2003, and participated in the Council of State Government Midwest Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development program during the summer of 2004. Cindy was recognized by the Iowa Library Association as an outstanding leader, receiving the Ted Anderson Advocacy Award in 2007. She was also recognized for her significant contributions to the profession of nursing and the healthcare of Iowans with the 2007 Friend of Nursing award and received the Advocacy Award from the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences – Iowa Affiliate 2013 Public Service Award. She has served as Chair of the Midwestern Legislative Conference Innovations Selection Committee and as a member of the Education committee with National Conference of State Legislators.
Cindy is currently serving as a commissioner on the Education Commission of the States. She a member of the Davenport Schools Network for Community and School Partnerships, the Leadership Partnership with School Administrators of Iowa, the Department of Education Advisory Board for the University of Northern Iowa, the Scott County Kids Early Childhood Iowa Board, and the Eastern Iowa Small Business Development Advisory Council.

State Representative District 91    Gary Carlson     Republican Party

Gary Carlson is serving his second term in the Iowa House.

Gary is a native Iowan and a graduate of the University of Iowa.  Upon graduating from college, Gary went to work as a First Line Production Supervisor for Bandag, Inc. on the night shift.  It was there Gary first learned how to lead a diverse team of people by maximizing the skills of each team member and creating an environment of communication.  Gary’s 23 year career with Bandag culminated as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Currently an executive with HNI, the parent company of The HON Company and Allsteel in Muscatine, Carlson has helped lead a company focusing on excellent service and strong community involvement.

Prior to HNI, he was President and CEI of the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Gary has been active in the community through his involvement as Co-Chair of the Muscatine Blue Zones Initiative, Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Community Improvement Action Team, Director of the Crossroads Foundation, Director of the Muscatine Community College Foundation and Director of the Trinity Hospital Foundation.

Gary and his wife, Sheryl, have five adult children.

State Representative District 92    Ross Paustian    Republican Party

Ross Paustian is serving his third term in the Iowa House.

Paustian is a graduate of Davenport West and South Dakota State University.  He is a fifth-generation crop and livestock farmer and is the past President of the Scott County Farm Bureau, past President of the Scott County Pork Producers and past President of the Walcott Community Club.

Ross and his wife, Carol, have two grown children, Jennifer and Tom.

Paustian is a leader for Iowa agricultural.

State Representative District 93    Phyllis Thede     Democratic Party

Phyllis Thede was honored to begin her first term in the General Assembly on January 12, 2009. She is now serving her 4th term in the Iowa House of Representatives. She represents the families of Bettendorf/Davenport.

Phyllis currently serves on the following House committees:

• Appropriations,

• Ethics (Ranking Member),

• Government Oversight

• Local Government

• Natural Resources.

Phyllis and her husband Dave make their home in Bettendorf, Iowa. Phyllis and Dave resided in Davenport from 1980 to 2004, and then they moved to Bettendorf.

Phyllis and Dave are proud parents of three successful daughters and a son in-law, who is ex-military. They are doting grandparents to grandson Jonathan, grand-daughters Stella and Catherine, and step-grandson Jake.

Phyllis was born in Chicago, Illinois. Later, the family would move to Creston, Iowa, which is located in the southern part of Iowa, and is the home of Southwestern Community College. Phyllis and Dave were both attending Southwestern, when they met and fell in love. They were married in 1974. The couple moved to LeMars, Iowa where they both attended Westmar College. In 1976 Dave graduated and Phyllis’ career in education began.

Phyllis began her work in 1980 as a para-educator with Davenport Community Schools. In the early years, she worked in the library; however, since 2001 she has served as the secretary in the Media Center at North High School. Phyllis currently works as an attendance secretary at Williams Intermediate in Davenport.

Phyllis has also served as her union’s president and vice president; as a contract negotiator, as well as a grievance chair. She has been on many committees in the district, including the superintendent search committee. She served on the state Minority Action Committee and is currently working with QC United Organization that brings all minority youth together. QC United raises money for scholarships for youth, at a college of their choice.

Additional Committees which Phyllis currently serves on are:

• Iowa Human Rights Board

• Iowa Prayer Caucus (Co-Chair and Co-Founder, 2012)

• Equity Committee regarding Davenport School

State Representative District 94    Gary Mohr    Republican Party

Gary Mohr is seeking his first term in the Iowa House.

 Gary grew up on a farm in Southwest Iowa near Avoca and graduated from Avoca High School.  He went on to college and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Northwest Missouri State University and got his Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration and Adult Education from Iowa State University.

Gary spent his entire career in the education field, starting in Marshalltown as the Coordinator of Continuing Education for the Iowa Valley Community College District.  He held many different positions over the course of his 41 year career in education; including working as an adjunct faculty member, Dean of Continuing Education, Vice Chancellor of Community Development, and Executive Director of External Affairs.

Gary has won numerous awards in education.  Some of his awards include the Outstanding College Administrator Award, the President’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Outstanding Community Service Award among many others.

Gary has a long list of community involvement.  He was on the Board of Directors and was Chairman of the Board for the Riverboat Development Authority, Board of Directors for the Davenport Chamber of Commerce, served on the Quad City Development Group Rock Island Arsenal Task Force, and was a member on the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.  Currently he’s a board member for the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce and a board member of the Downtown Davenport Partnership.  In 2012 he was appointed by Governor Branstad to the Iowa Public Information Board and was reappointed in 2014.  In 2013 he was elected as an Alderman-At-Large in Bettendorf.  He’s a member of Asbury Methodist Church.

Gary is married to his wife, Jane.  They have four adult sons who all live in Iowa.  In addition, they have five grandsons and one granddaughter.

State Representative District 95    Louie Zumbach       Republican Party

Louie Zumbach is serving his first term in the Iowa House.

Louie is a fourth generation farmer, born and raised near Coggon.  He is a graduate of Monticello High School, Kirkwood Community College, and Auctioneer School.  Louie and his wife, Deb have been involved in farming their entire married life and own and operate a small auction company, which is named after their four daughters.

Louie currently serves as the President of Linn County ISU Extension and Outreach, and is a member of the National Federation of Independent Business, the Linn County Fair Association, and the Linn County Farm Bureau.  He has previously served as the President of the Linn County Fair Association as well as the Linn County Planning and Zoning Commission.  He has served as a volunteer fireman for the Prairieburg Fire District, on the Coggon Lion’s Club, and on his local church council.

State Representative District 96    Lee Hein    Republican Party

Lee Hein is serving his fourth term in the Iowa House.

Lee was born and raised in Monticello.  He attended Iowa State University for two years before returning home to join his family farm.  He is the third generation to operate the family farm where they raise corn, soybeans and cattle.

Lee and his wife, Jacky, have two grown children – Amy and Ben.  Jacky is a small business owner in Monticello.  The family attends St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Monticello.

Hein was previously elected to the Monticello School Board where he served for nine years, five of them as President.  He has also served as the President of both the Cedar Valley Farm Business Association Board and the Iowa Farm Business Association Board.

He remains active in his community as a member of Farm Bureau, Pork Producers, and Cattlemen’s Associations.

In the House, Lee serves as the Chair of the Agriculture Committee.  He also serves on the State Government, Transportation, and Ways and Means committees.

State Representative District 97    Norlin Mommsen     Republican Party

Norlin Mommsen is serving his second term in the Iowa House.

Mommsen was raised in Miles, graduated from East Central High School, and attended the Farm Operations Program at Iowa State University.  Mommsen began farming over 30 years ago.  For nearly a decade he worked at a local ag retailer selling fertilizer and herbicides.  Today he’s farming again, growing corn and soybeans, and raising hogs and cattle.

Mommsen previously served as a Clinton County Soil and Water District Commissioner was the Rural Representative on the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission.  He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Clinton County Farm Bureau and the Great River Threshers.  Over the years he’s been involved with the Clinton County 4-H Youth Board, the Miles Area Lions Club, the Community Ambulance Service, and the FFA Alumni.

Norlin and his wife, Denise, have five children.

State Representative District 98    Mary Wolfe    Democratic Party

Mary Wolfe is currently serving her 2nd term in the Iowa House of Representatives. She serves on the Judiciary, Public Safety, and Transportation Committees. As well as the Transportation, Infrastructure, Capital Appropriations Subcommittee.

Mary was born in 1963 in Washington DC. Her father, John grew up on a farm in Lost Nation. Her mother Pierrette’s family emigrated from Switzerland when she was young and she grew up in New York City. The two met while working on John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign when they were both students at Georgetown University.

The family moved to Iowa in 1966. John practiced law in Davenport for a time and then served on Governor Hughes’ staff in Des Moines for a year before being hired by the Model Cities program. In 1976 he became a public defender in Clinton. Mary and her seven younger siblings attended North Catholic Elementary School and Mater Dei High School.

Mary received her Bachelors in English from the University of Iowa in 1989. In the spring of 1992, Mary graduated from the University of Iowa Law School, passed the bar exam and returned to Clinton to work with her father at his law firm. Mary’s son John was born in 1994; he attended Prince of Peace elementary school and Clinton High School, and currently attends the University of Iowa’s College of Engineering.

State Representative District 99    Lindsay James    Democratic Party

The morning after the 2016 election, I stumbled my way through a conversation with my six-year-old daughter. As I told her about our new president, her eyes began to well up with tears and she asked me a simple yet profound question, “Mom, does this mean we have to build a wall?”

This was the moment I realized I had to run for office. I want my daughter and all of our kids to grow up in communities where the walls are coming down not going up!

While events in Washington DC dominate the headlines, the GOP trifecta in Des Moines is having a more immediate and disastrous impact on Iowans.

As a college chaplain, I’ve devoted my life to breaking down the walls that divide people. As a city commissioner, county official, and active leader in the NAACP, I have already proven my commitment to breaking down the barriers that keep our hard-working families from accessing safe and affordable housing, mental health services, nutritious food, and good jobs with living wages.

As your State Representative, I will work every day to mobilize our community around the values that bring our kids a secure future – a thriving and just economy, universal healthcare, a clean environment, strong schools, and vibrant neighborhoods!​​

State Representative District 100    Charles Isenhart    Democratic Party

Chuck Isenhart, 55, was born in Dubuque, Iowa, the son of Bud and Marcella Isenhart. He has four brothers, two sisters, 15 nieces and nephews, 21 great nieces and nephews and four goddaughters. Chuck attended Wahlert High School. He graduated from Loras College in 1981 with a degree in political science and mass communication. He received a master’s degree in journalism from Marquette University in 1984. Chuck owns his own small business, Common Good Services, which offers communications, public relations, training and education, strategic planning and other organizational services. From 1990 to 2007, Chuck was executive director of the Dubuque Area Labor-Management Council, which included work in labor relations, health care (Tri-State Health C.A.R.E. Coalition and Iowa Health Buyers Alliance), construction (Alliance for Construction Excellence) and education/workforce development (Communities and Schools Together). From 1986 to 1990, Chuck was a freelance writer and publisher, working on the topics of education, health care, rural development, labor relations and other social and economic issues. He was a member of the National Writers Union, which he rejoined this year after starting his own business (UAW Local 1981). Previous to that, he was a reporter and editor for the Witness newspaper of the Archdiocese of Dubuque. Chuck was a research assistant for the Institute for the Catholic Media and an instructor at Marquette University. He has also worked for Interstate Power Company (power plant), the city of Dubuque (park maintenance), the Telegraph Herald (sports department) and the Iowa Oil Company (gas station attendant). Chuck has been active with the Dubuque County Democratic Central Committee since 1989. In 2006, he served as policy director for the Rick Dickinson for Congress campaign. He has chaired the County Platform Committee (1991 to 1999), the Research Committee (1989 to 1994) and Presidential Forum Planning Committee (2004). He has also been a precinct GOTV captain, precinct caucus chair and county convention delegate. Chuck’s past or current professional activities include the Labor and Employment Relations Association, National Business Coalition on Health (Government Affairs Committee), Iowa 2010 Strategic Planning Council (Development Committee), Iowans for a Better Future Board of Directors, the Governor’s 21st Century Workforce Council and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Customer Council. In the community, Chuck has been a member of the city of Dubuque Housing Commission, city of Dubuque Community Development Commission, Dubuque County Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities Stakeholders Committee, Dubuque Soccer Club (co-founder), American Youth Soccer Organization (commissioner), America’s River Soccer Classic (director), Dubuque Housing Coalition (chair), Healthy Dubuque 2000, Crescent Community Health Center Planning Committee, Downtown Neighborhood Council (block captain) and St. Raphael Cathedral Parish. He has been on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity, Project Concern, the Dubuque Food Pantry and the Dubuque Soccer Alliance. Chuck is the ranking member on the Environmental Protection committee. He also serves on the Economic Growth Committee, Ways and Means Committee and Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee. In his spare time, among other things, Chuck enjoys officiating soccer and basketball games, playing fantasy hockey, hiking and biking, as well as traveling to visit friends and see the world.

Senate District 1   Zach Whiting   Republican Party
Zach Whiting is the Senator-elect for Iowa Senate District 1. He was unopposed in the 2018 General Election and received 21,167 votes, the second most of any legislative candidate on the ballot in the State of Iowa. He won the Republican primary on June 5 with over 62% of the vote, winning every county and 47/49 precincts district-wide. He will represent the great people of Lyon, Osceola, Clay, Dickinson, and Palo Alto Counties. 

A native of Spirit Lake, Zach is a fifth-generation Northwest Iowan whose family has deep roots in agriculture, education, and community and public service. His parents are Bryon and Cyndie Whiting of Spirit Lake. Bryon works for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Cyndie is a stay at home mom.  His grandparents are Bill and Sharon Whiting of Ruthven and Ron and Jo Ann Hendricks of Rockwell City.  Bill is a retired school teacher who continues to substitute teach and referee local high school athletics.  Jo Ann recently retired after many years on the city council in Rockwell City, and Ron and his family have farmed in rural Calhoun County for decades. 

Zach has been married to his wife, Juliana, for six years and they have one son.  He is a licensed Iowa attorney and currently serves as a Policy Advisor to Congressman Steve King. 

He previously served as a Legislative Assistant in the Washington, D.C. office, handling a diverse portfolio of issues including judiciary, values, regulations and administrative law, immigration, environment, transportation, telecommunications, as well as health care, defense, veterans, homeland security, and small business.  He also served as Congressman King’s staffer on the House Committee on the Judiciary and the Task Force on Executive Overreach, which was chaired by Congressman King. 

Zach graduated from Spirit Lake High School in May 2006.  After graduation he accepted a scholarship to attend Stetson University.  He graduated from Stetson in May 2010, summa cum laude with Phi Beta Kappa distinction, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. 

After graduating from college, Zach ran for a seat in the Iowa House of Representatives, narrowly losing the Republican primary by 55 votes to Representative Jeff Smith. 

After the election, Zach worked as the Northwest Iowa Field Director for the Republican Party of Iowa before attending law school.  He graduated from the Regent University School of Law in May 2014 with a Juris Doctor degree.  During law school he worked as a Law Clerk at the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).  He served as Articles Editor of a law review and had a constitutional law article published in a faith-based law journal.  He was also a Renoud Family Constitutional Law Scholar and a member of the Law School Honor Council. 

Zach is proud to live, work, and raise his family in Northwest Iowa.  He feels called to serve others through public service, which is why he is seeking to serve you in the Iowa Senate.  He welcomes meeting with the people of District 1 to demonstrate that he will effectively represent your voice and values in Des Moines. ​

Senate District 2      Randy Feenstra       Republican Party  

Senator Randy Feenstra is a life-long Iowan, who was recently re-elected to a second term in the Iowa Senate.  He received his Bachelors Degree from Dordt College, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Iowa State University.

Senator Feenstra was the sales manager for the Foreign Candy Company for seven years, and then spent seven years as the Hull City Administrator until he was elected Sioux County Treasurer in 2006.

Senator Feenstra works diligently to further the Republican ideals for a smaller government, not creating any new taxes and curbing government spending in Iowa while at the Capitol.

Senator Feenstra has been an active member in his community for years.  He currently serves as the chairman of the Sioux County Foundation, and is on several other boards including, Sioux Center Executive Hospital board and the Lewis & Clark Regional Water executive board.  He also spent 14 years as an EMT for the City of Hull.

Senator Feenstra and his wife, Lynette, have four children and reside in Hull.


ISU Community Leadership Award, named one of Sioux City Journal’s 40 Under 40 Top Leaders in Western Iowa

Senate District 3   Jim Carlin  Republican Party

Jim was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and raised in Chatham Township, New Jersey. He is a veteran of the United States Army. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts and went on to law school at Marquette University in Milwaukee where he received his juris doctorate.

Jim chose Iowa as the place to build a life and family because of its values and the friendliness of its people. He has been a resident of Sioux City since 1992. He and his wife Donna have been married for 20 years and together they raised three children, Wesley, Whitney and Hannah. They are the proud grandparents of Bennett, Anne and Clara.

Jim is an attorney who has represented individuals in state and federal court in Iowa for over 23 years. His passion for justice and the dignity of the individual has guided his career.

He has served as a highly involved and vital advocate for children and is a founding board member of the “Giving Exchange,” a non-profit corporation, with a vision to cultivate self-sustaining infrastructure for orphanages. The Giving Exchange has provided a septic tank, bathrooms, showers, hot water, Skype classroom, library, beds, bicycles and a chicken farm enclosure to meet basic needs, provide food and create a revenue stream for orphans in Nairobi, Kenya.

Jim has been an active member of the Republican Party’s Central Committee for six years and has been a volunteer for candidate campaigns, poll watching and with Iowa’s Family Leader.

He has served in a church nursing home visitation program for eighteen years; volunteered as an instructor for federal inmates at Dismas Charities; and served as youth basketball coach at Upward Sports.   He is a member of Morningside Assembly of God Church.

Senate District 4    Dennis Guth Republican Party

Senator Dennis Guth has called a farm just north of Klemme his home since birth. He graduated from Klemme Community School in 1973, and with a degree in Agriculture Mechanization from Iowa State University in 1977.

Senator Guth has served on church boards, Klemme Area Development Organization, Hancock County Pork Producers, the Hancock County Farm Bureau and the FAMiLY LEADER/Iowa Family Policy Center. In 2013 he retired from the elder board of Britt Evangelical Free church and is still active in the LUV Iowa grassroots organization.

Senator Guth has been married to his high school sweetheart, Margaret Campbell, for 38 years. They have been blessed with four biological children.  In 1998, they answered God’s call to adopt their fifth child, a ten year-old girl from Brazil.  They have three married children and many delightful grandchildren.

Senate District 5       Tim Kraayenbrink        Republican Party
Senator Tim Kraayenbrink and his wife of 35 years, Sally, have three children: Jacy Jensen (and husband, Tim), Taylor (and wife, Ali) and Ben. They have one granddaughter, Avery. Senator Kraayenbrink and Sally have also been foster parents for ten years.

Senator Kraayenbrink is a small business owner of Kraayenbrink Financial Services in Fort Dodge since 2007. He has been a financial advisor since 1988, when he began working as a District Representative for Aid Association for Lutherans/Thrivent Financial.

From 1982-1988, Senator Kraayenbrink was a teacher in the Northwest Webster School District in Barnum, Iowa. While a high school industrial arts teacher, he also was head football coach and coached multiple other sports.

Senator Kraayenbrink and Sally are both originally from Paullina, Iowa. After graduating high school in 1978, he went on to attend Northern State College in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He attended on a football scholarship and received a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education in 1982.

The Kraayenbrinks are active members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge. Currently, Senator Kraayenbrink has served as a member of the Iowa District West Lutheran Church Endowment Committee. His past involvement has included serving as president of the congregation, on various boards and teaching Bible studies.

He also is a past member of the St. Edmonds School Finance Board and the St. Edmonds School Board.

Both Senator Kraayenbrink and his wife are very involved in various business and community leadership positions. They enjoy serving their community and helping make a positive impact in others’ lives.

Senate District 6    Mark Segebart    Republican Party

Senator Mark Segebart is a sixth generation family farmer, community leader, and a member of many Ag commodity groups. He spent 16 years as a Crawford County Supervisor. before running for state Senate in 2012. Senator Segebart represents District 6, which includes all of Audubon, Buena Vista, Carroll and Sac Counties, in addition to the eight eastern townships in Crawford County.

Besides his work on the family farm and on the Crawford County Board of Supervisors, Senator Segebart and his wife Catherine have been advocates for children their entire lives. Catherine is a long-time public school teacher now retired, and Senator Segebart as a school bus driver for the ArWeVa Community School District now retired.

Senator Segebart and Catherine have been married for 45 years and farm outside of Vail. They are the proud parents of two adult children: a daughter, Martha, and husband Dan Gray; and a son, Alex, and wife, Carey, and two grandsons. They are active members of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Manilla.

Senate District 7     Jackie Smith        Democratic Party
Jackie’s commitment to community leadership took root during the first 10 years of life as she watched her mother and father, Darrell and Betty Strong work for community improvements. The family dining room table was a center for strategy sessions and lively discussions about improving the lives of all people. Jackie learned the importance of listening to people and working to understand their needs. She learned what it meant to care.

Jackie was born and raised in Sioux City Iowa. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Briar Cliff University and a master’s degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She retired from Northwest AEA after 34 years as a speech-language pathologist. During that time, Jackie and her husband, Dennis owned and operated a clothing business. Jackie was elected in 2008 as a Woodbury County Supervisor and served eight years.

As chairwoman of the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors, Smith worked with business leaders to bring one of Iowa’s largest economic development projects to Woodbury County.

“In the Iowa Senate, I will work to bring business to Iowa, but not on the backs of the working class and our most vulnerable citizens. “That means investing more resources in our community colleges, job training and apprenticeship to ensure that more workers are ready to fill good-paying jobs today, tomorrow and next year.”

The people of Woodbury County are interested in having the Legislature focus more energy on improving K-12 schools for Iowa children and grandchildren, ensuring access to affordable health for more Iowans, restoring the rights and dignity of working class families, and expanding access to cultural and recreational opportunities.

Senate District 8   Dan Dawson   Republican
Senator Dan Dawson, an Abraham Lincoln High School graduate, is the third generation from his family to reside and work in Council Bluffs.  Senator Dawson and his wife, Chrystal, have two children: Alex and Madelyn.

Senator Dawson currently serves in the Army Reserves, where he earned his current rank of Chief Warrant Officer. He has honorably served his country for the past 18 years, mobilizing four times with deployments to Kosovo, Iraq, and twice to Afghanistan.

He followed in his father’s footsteps to serve as a law enforcement officer in Council Bluffs. Senator Dawson worked in the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office before joining the Council Bluffs Police Department. He is currently a special agent with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, where he works in the Major Crimes Unit.

Senator Dawson is a member of St Patrick’s Catholic Church of Council Bluffs, Knights of Columbus, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He has also served as a director in the state police union.

Senate District 9       Jason Schultz      Republican Party
Senator Jason Schultz farms with his parents as they have together for the last 20 years.  He served seven years in the Iowa National Guard and also served as a volunteer firefighter for the Schleswig Volunteer Fire Department for 13 years, serving for two of those as the Department’s Chief.  Senator Schultz has served as a member of the Horn Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Senator Schultz served three terms in the Iowa House, being first elected in 2008.

He and his wife, Amy, have been married for 19 years and have two daughters: Josie and Camryn. They are members of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Schleswig where Senator Schultz served as an elder, and continues as a Sunday School Teacher, and is an Assistant Sunday School Superintendent.

Senate District 10   Jake Chapman   Republican Party

Born and raised in Adel, Senator Jake Chapman has always enjoyed living in a small community. The year he was born, his father started a private ambulance service based in Des Moines. From a very young age Senator Chapman was employed with the company. He has served as the director of business development, director of operations, and is currently the chief operating officer. Senator Chapman is also an EMT and enjoys working side-by-side with his colleagues.

After graduating from Adel-DeSoto-Minburn High School in 2003 Senator Chapman served a mission for his church. For two years he worked with and served the people of Norway and was able to learn the Norwegian language. Upon returning from Norway he married his high school sweetheart, Jennifer Moore. They are the proud parents of five beautiful children: Isaac, Leah, Adam, Jared and Caleb.

In 2008, Senator Chapman earned his associate degree with honors in business administration from AIB College of Business in Des Moines. In 2009 he graduated, again with honors, with his bachelor’s degree in business administration from AIB. He was on the dean’s list several semesters and is also recognized as a member of Phi Theta Kappa, an academic honor society.

Senator Chapman proudly served as the president of the Young Republicans of Dallas County, which he helped establish in 2010. He has also served as member of the Dallas County Central Committee. Senator Chapman has been active in the campaigns of numerous Republicans at the federal, state and local levels.

As the son and son in-law of veterans, public service has been a constant part of Senator Chapman’s life. From his efforts as a Boy Scout and recipient of the Eagle Scout Award to the positions in which he now serves, he has always enjoyed serving those around him. Senator Chapman is grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the hard working people of Iowa at the state level.

Senate District 11     Tom Shipley    Republican Party

Senator Tom Shipley was born and raised in Adams County and is the fifth generation in his family to be involved in agriculture in Adams County.

He graduated from Villisca High School in 1971 and from Iowa Western Community College in 1973.  Senator Shipley earned a bachelor’s of science in Agriculture Education in 1975 from Iowa State University.

After graduating from Iowa State University, he taught VoAg from 1975 t0 1978 at Fremont-Mills High School.

He has devoted much of his life to agriculture, working at:

  • Land O’ Lakes at a Livestock Production Specialist in southwest Iowa until 2002.
  • United Farmers Merc. Coop as a Feed Department Manager at United Farmers Merc co-op until 2008.
  • Iowa Cattlemen’s Association as director of Issues and Policy Management from 2009 to 2011.
  • Land O’Lakes/Purina as a Beef Production Specialist from 2011 to today.

Senator Shipley has one daughter, a son-in-law and one granddaughter.

He always has been active in the community, serving:

  • 18 years Villisca School Board- several terms as president.
  • 22 years – Villisca Volunteer Ambulance service.
  • As elder, deacon, Sunday School teacher and in the choir at the First Presbyterian Church.
  • As a Board Member on the Mills/Montgomery County Cattlemen’s, Adams County Cattlemen’s, Iowa Cattlemens’ Association – District 18 director, Iowa membership co-chair.

Senator Shipley also has small farming operation and cow herd at Nodaway.

Senate District 12   Mark Costello     Republican Party

Senator Mark Costello grew up in rural Imogene, graduating from Nishna Valley High School and the University of Northern Iowa in 1984. Mark was employed as a computer programmer/analyst with Garst Seed Company in Coon Rapids, IA, for five years prior to returning to the family farm.

Senator Costello and his wife, Rachel, were married in 2001 and have five children, Matthew, Julia, Peter, Ethan and Andrew. The family resides on their farm in Mills County where they raise corn and soybeans. Rachel is a native of Lacona, Iowa and she home-schools and cares for their children. The Costello’s attend Sunnyside Bible Chapel in Atlantic.

Senator Costello was elected to the Iowa House in 2012 representing House District 23, where he was Vice Chair of the Health & Human Resources Budget Subcommittee. Senator Costello was first elected to the Senate in a special election in 2014.

Senate District 13      Julian Garrett       Republican Party

Senator Julian Garrett is a retired attorney and farmer in the southern part of Warren County, where he lives with his wife, Nancy. They have three sons who have graduated with engineering degrees from Iowa State University.

Senator Garrett grew up on an Iowa farm where he learned about hard work and personal responsibility. He has raised purebred Charolais cattle for many years and is a long time Farm Bureau member. Senator Garrett is a member of the Lutheran Church.

He graduated from Central College in Pella, and the University of Iowa Law School. Senator Garrett is a life-long Republican and has been a member of the Warren County Republican Central Committee for more than 40 years. He twice served as Ronald Reagan’s campaign chairman in the former 5th Congressional District.

Always willing to give his time to our young people, Senator Garrett was a volunteer Little League and soccer coach for more than 12 years. He served on the Indianola Little League Board of Directors for many years, and directed the County Little League post-season tournament for Warren and surrounding counties for several years. In addition, he coached Middle School Mock Trial teams, two of which reached the State Tournament.

Senator Garrett served 12 years as Iowa’s Assistant Attorney General in Charge of Consumer Protection when that office was first established. During that time, he fought to rid the market place of con-men and frauds. He worked with the Legislature promoting legislation to fight frauds and swindles. It was widely acknowledged the office was well run and the public was well served.

Senator Garrett was elected to the Iowa House in 2010 and was re-elected in 2012. He was elected to the Iowa Senate in a special election on November 19, 2013 and re-elected in 2014. Weekly newsletters and town all meetings around Senate District 13 have been a significant part of his service, in addition to the annual legislative sessions.


Senate District 14   Amy Sinclair   Republican Party

Senator Amy Sinclair has had a wide array of experiences prior to serving in the Iowa Senate. She began working at the age of 13 in a local restaurant, learning the value of hard work, determination, and the value of communicating with people.

She later worked for the Ad Express/Daily Iowegian newspaper in Centerville. Senator Sinclair also taught in the Central Decatur Community Schools and at Southwestern Community College, preparing students to complete their GED testing, as well as teaching parenting and adult basic education classes. She later served as a federal grants coordinator and after-school program director for Wayne Community School District.

During two terms on the Wayne County Board of Supervisors, Senator Sinclair held numerous leadership opportunities in our county and local communities, including chairing the Iowa County Engineers’ Service Bureau board of directors and the Wayne County R.E.A.P. Commission. She was also an active board member for the 10-15 Regional Transit System, Iowa’s 5th Judicial District, South Iowa Area Crime Commission, Southeast Iowa Response Group-Hazmat Operations, Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa, and Chariton Valley Transportation Planning Affiliate. Senator Sinclair also chaired the Allerton Public Library Board from 2000-2004.

Senator Sinclair continues to serve on the board of directors for the South Central Iowa Community Action Program and is a member of the Wayne Optimists Club.

Senator Sinclair currently serves as a state senator for Iowa’s 14th District, which includes all of Clarke, Decatur, Wayne, and Lucas counties with most of Marion County and the southeast quarter of Jasper County. She has lived, worked, and raised her family in Wayne County for more than 20 years.

Senate District 15    Zach Nunn     Republican Party

Zach has served a career defending our nation’s freedom with the US military – now he is honored to serve our community as Representative of Iowa House District 30 for the past four years. 

A sixth-generation Iowan and Altoona native, Zach grew up the son of a public school teacher and nurse. He learned early the value of hard work from his grandfather, a livestock farmer and head of the family’s 100+ year old Iowa farm.

Zach Nunn is deeply committed to the future of our community. Together, Zach and his wife Kelly, also an Altoona native, own and operate a small business. They love raising their kids: Addi (11), Canon (8), Olympia (3), and one on the way. 

As an officer with the US Air Force, Zach answered his country’s call to serve the greater good – three times deployed with over 700 air combat-hours. Zach has served on the White House National Security Council safeguarding America’s ideals and prosecuting its gravest threats.  

Zach didn’t ‘luck’ into his current career. His Iowa community, teachers, coaches, civic leaders and trademark Iowa values empowered his success. This is why Zach is a believer when it comes to ensuring Iowa is the best in the nation. Zach is a common-sense hard-worker and wants to make Iowa a place for young people to call home, and generational towns to prosper.

Zach is a confident Republican leader with a proven fiscal-conservative track record.  Please consider supporting Zach and helping him drive smart solutions in the State Legislature. 
​Today, Zach is honored to serve as your voice in the Iowa House.  A voice representing your concerns - A voice with a plan - A voice that cares about you.

Senate District 16     Nate Boulton    Democrat

Nate Boulton was elected to his first term in the Iowa Senate in 2016. He represents the Northeast part of Des Moines and Pleasant Hill.

Senator Boulton is ranking member on the Labor & Business Relations Committee. He also serves on the Appropriations, Commerce and Judiciary committees, as well as the Justice System Budget.

Outside the Legislature, Nate is a partner with Hedberg & Boulton, where he practices in workers compensation, personal injury and labor law. He earned his law degree from Drake Law School in 2005 and was admitted to the Iowa bar that year. He also holds a Master’s of Public Administration from Drake University and a Bachelor’s in history and political science from Simpson College.

Nate has served as vice-president of the Iowa Association for Justice and as president of the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Advisory Committee. He also acts as a grader for the Iowa Bar Exam.

Nate’s career has focused on Iowa workers and their families: fighting for fairness in the workplace, standing up against wrongful terminations and advocating for injured workers.

He also devotes time for teaching and has taught courses in labor law at Drake Law School, sports law and business law at Simpson College, and organizational management and moral leadership at William Penn University.

Nate grew up in Columbus Junction. He now lives in Des Moines with his wife, Andrea, who works for the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.

Senate District 17     Tony Bisignano    Democratic Party

Tony Bisignano was elected in 2014 to the Iowa Senate, where he represents Downtown and the Southside of Des Moines. He ran for the Iowa House of Representatives in 1986 and served three terms. He was then elected to one term in the State Senate he served as Senate President Pro Tem.

Senator Bisignano is ranking member on the State Government Committee. He also serves on the Judiciary, Labor & Business Relations and Transportation committees.

Tony has lived on the Southside of Des Moines his whole life. He’s the son of an Italian immigrant and grew up in Des Moines’s Little Italy neighborhood. He first ran for elected office at age 24.

Tony began working for Polk County at 21 in environmental sanitation and restaurant inspection. He was a policy advisor and project manager for 17 years with Polk County, and then Human Resources director. He retired after 40 years. He served seven years as president of his local AFSCME union.

Tony and Kim, his wife of 42 years, raised three children, Emily, Allison and Nick. After Nick died in a car accident as a teen, Tony started the Nick Bisignano Foundation to promote responsible choices among young people. Tony is active in the SouthSide Cares charitable organization, Best Buddies of Iowa and Special Olympics.

Senate District 18  Janet Petersen   Democratic Party

Senator Janet Petersen is serving her first term in the Iowa Senate after having served as a state representative in the Iowa House for 12 years.  She is the Chairwoman of the Government Oversight Committee and Vice Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee.  She also serves on the Appropriations, Ways & Means, State Government and Judiciary Committees.

Janet was born in Beaverdale and has lived in Senate District 18 most of her life (other than a brief trip to Northern Iowa for college).  She graduated from UNI with a degree in Communications and earned a masters degree in Integrated Communications from Drake University.

Before joining the legislature, Janet worked on the ’92 Clinton/Gore Campaign, for the American Heart Association and for Strategic America, a marketing communications firm.

Janet is married to Brian Pattinson, who grew up in Ames, and together they have three children.

Senate District 19   Jack Whitver Republican Party

A life-long Iowan, Senator Jack Whitver is a small business owner and an attorney who resides in Ankeny with his wife, Rachel, and three children.

An entrepreneur at heart, Senator Whitver spent the last 10 years growing his small business, Acceleration Iowa, into three locations. He also owns three CrossFit locations in Central Iowa.

Senator Whitver is a graduate of Iowa State University, where he was a three-year starter for the Cyclone football team. He finished his eligibility ranked in the Top 10 in all-time receiving yards and all-time receptions.

After his first three seasons of eligibility, Senator Whitver graduated with a B.S. in Exercise Science and went on to earn his Master’s in Business Administration in December 2003. He was named an Academic All-American and twice named first-team Academic All-Big 12. While at Iowa State, he helped lead the Cyclones to three bowl games.

Senator Whitver graduated in 2012 from Drake University Law School, and practices law at the Whitaker Hagenow and Gustoff firm in downtown Des Moines. He specializes in estate planning and business law.

As a business owner with a legal background, Senator Whitver brings a young, energetic and unique perspective to the Capitol. He believes smaller, more efficient government is most effective for creating jobs, achieving prosperity and governing our country.

He will fight to balance the budget in Iowa, reduce property taxes and eliminate wasteful spending.

Senate District 20 Brad Zaun Republican
Senator Brad Zaun was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2004. Before serving in the Iowa Senate, Senator Zaun was the mayor of Urbandale, and owner and operator of Zaun’s Trustworthy Hardware. He is currently partner at Grapnel Tech Services of Clive and Director of Sales at Master Dowel in Ankeny.

Senator Zaun generously gives back to his community by serving on various boards and commissions.  He is past a board member of the Greater Dallas County Development Alliance, the Greater Des Moines Animal Rescue League, Iowa Commercial Real Estate Association and a current member of the Urbandale Breakfast Lions Club to name a few.

Senator Zaun finds time for his biking hobby, his family, and enjoys time with the love of his life, Dede.  He and Dede live in Urbandale and have five children: Zac, Bailey, Drew, Greyson and Devon.

Employment Highlights: Owner of Zaun’s Trustworthy Hardware (1988-2005) Vice President R&R Realty (2005-2012) Director of Sales & Marketing Grapnel Tech Services (2012-Current) Director of Sales Master Dowel (2014-Current)

Civic/Professional Organizations: Past State of Iowa Child Support Advisory Board, Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates board member, Past Generation Iowa Commission member, Mid Iowa Small Business Development Center board member

Elected Offices Held: Mayor of Urbandale (1988-2004), Urbandale City Council (1996-1998) Iowa Senate ((2005-Current)

Honors: 1994 nominee for the Iowa/Nebraska Entrepreneur of the Year, 2001, 40 Under 40 Award recipient, inducted into the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame in 2004

Education: Grandview College, Ellsworth Community College

Senate District 21   Claire Celsi     Democratic Party

Claire Celsi is a small business owner and community volunteer. She dedicates her free time to advocating for public education through the group Iowans for Public Education, a grassroots group she helped to activate.

After losing a 2016 House race, Claire decided to run for the open Senate District 21 seat left by Matt McCoy’s run for Polk County Supervisor.

Claire is a Des Moines native and has spent her career in the non-profit, political and advertising agency world before starting her business in 2009. She works with small to medium-sized companies, nonprofits and government agencies to help them get noticed through public relations, marketing and grassroots advocacy. Some of her former clients include the Des Moines Water Works, the Iowa Lottery, Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Iowa Tourism Bureau, SILT, Kinze Manufacturing, Weitz Construction Company, the Ethanol industry – and many other organizations.

A graduate of Drake University, she returns as often as she can to guest lecture or participate in panel discussions or resume workshops to help students learn how to navigate the post-college world. Claire was also an adjunct at Drake, teaching courses in internet marketing, public relations writing and social media.

In an effort to serve the public and gain knowledge about the community she lives in, Claire has been a member many boards of directors over the past 20 years, including Iowa Great Places, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Commission Beacon of Life and Central Iowa Shelter and Services. She is a current member of the Booster Pak WDM board, the West Des Moines Board of Adjustment and the Drake School of Journalism and Mass Communications National Advisory Board. She’s also on the membership committee of a new statewide affordable housing group.

Grassroots advocacy has been the hallmark of Claire’s political involvement over the years. When there’s an issue that needs to be solved, Claire gets to work, finds allies and gets it done. She was deeply involved in the movement to ban smoking in public places, has advocated for affordable housing projects in West Des Moines and is very active in making sure that public schools are not privatized in Iowa.

Claire believes in supporting other candidates and activists who want to make a difference. She spends time coaching candidates and helping them develop messaging and also works actively on the ground, knocking on doors as a volunteer.

Family is very important to Claire and she is the mother of two daughters and stepmom to a daughter and son. She’s also a very proud Grandma to Mia, now a 15-month old toddler. Mia is a motivating factor in this campaign. Claire wants to make sure she has a strong public school system, clean water and doesn’t have to pay student loans until she turns 50.

Claire’s husband Jim is an IT professional, a graduate of the University of Iowa and a USATF track official and coaches track and field at Lincoln High School.

Senate District 22   Charles Schneider   Republican Party

Senator Charles Schneider was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2012, and was re-elected in 2016.  Senator Schneider’s peers have elected him to a leadership position since 2014.

Before his election to the Iowa Senate, Senator Schneider served on the West Des Moines City Council from 2007 to 2012.  He chaired the council’s Finance and Administration Subcommittee and served on the council’s Public Safety Subcommittee.

Senator Schneider is also counsel for Principal Financial Group, where he has worked since 2007.  Before joining Principal, he was a lawyer with the law firm of Dickinson Mackaman Tyler & Hagen, PC. Senator Schneider received his bachelor’s degree from Creighton University, and his law and MBA degrees from the University of Iowa. He and his wife, Lisa, reside in West Des Moines and are members of St. Francis of Assisi Church.

Senate District 23 Herman C. Quirmbach Democratic Party
Herman Quirmbach was elected in 2014 to his fourth term in the Iowa Senate. He represents Ames and Kelley, and Grant, Milford, and Washington Townships in Story County.

Senator Quirmbach is ranking member on the Education Committee. He also serves on the Human Resources, Local Government, and Ways & Means Committees, as well as the Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

In addition, he represents the Senate on the College Student Aid Commission, the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Commission, the Tax Expenditure Committee, and the School Finance Formula Review Committee.

Herman is active in the Ames Kiwanis Club, the Ames League of Women Voters, the Ames Chamber of Commerce, and the Story County Democratic Party.  He has also served as Co-Chair of the Ames Veterans Memorial Committee and is currently the President of the Ames Patriotic Council.

Herman has received a number of awards for his Senate service, including:

Exemplary Service Award from Iowa Alliance for Arts Education (2016)
Education Award from the NAACP-Ames Branch (2016)
Pacesetter Award from the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (2013)
Safe Community Partners Award from the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (2012)
Gift of Clean Air Champion Award from CAFE Iowa (2012)
Iowa League of Cities’ Legislative Service Award (2010)
Public Health Award for Smoke-free Leadership, Story County Tobacco Task Force (2008)
Stick Your Neck Out Award from the National Association for the mentally Ill (2005)

He served on the Ames City Council from 1995 through 2003 and was Ames Mayor Pro Tem in 2002. He has been a member of the Story County REAP Committee, the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau Board, and the Ames Utility Retirement Board.

Herman received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government with honors from Harvard University in 1972 and Masters (1980) and PhD (1983) degrees in Economics from Princeton University. He is currently an Associate Professor of Economics at Iowa State University.

Senate District 24 Jerry Behn Republican Party

Senator Jerry Behn was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 1996 after serving as a Boone County Supervisor from 1995-1996.

Growing Iowa’s economy has been an important part of Senator Behn’s work in the Senate. He continues to focus on initiatives to help create jobs and attract more businesses to the state.

Senator Behn graduated from United Community High School and has been farming for 44 years.  He is a member of Farm Bureau, Iowa Soybean Association, the NRA, and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.

Senator Behn and his wife, Dennise, live on a farm outside of Boone. They have two daughters and two sons, and are the proud grandparents of seven grandchildren.

Senate District      25        Annette Sweeney     Republican Party

An Iowa native, Sweeney grew up on a family farm near Buckeye. After graduating from college, Sweeney educated middle school students as a teacher of English and speech. Upon her father’s untimely death in 1983, Sweeney moved back home to Buckeye to take over the family farm with her mother and sister. Annette and her husband Dave still operate the farm today. 

Sweeney has deep connections to Iowa’s agriculture community. During her time as a State Representative, Sweeney served as chair of the Iowa House Agriculture Committee. Most recently, she served as Iowa Rural Development Director for the United States Department of Agriculture.

Sweeney has served in numerous professional and community leadership positions with various organizations, including the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance, Iowa Women in Agriculture, Hardin County Assessor Board and Review, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Iowa 4-H, Iowa Angus Association, and Congressman Tom Latham’s Ag Advisory Task Force.

Senate District 26    Waylon Brown Republican Party

Senator Waylon Brown is a small businessman and Mitchell County Farm Bureau Board member. A St. Ansgar High School graduate, he owns a construction company and also farms in St. Ansgar.

He sits on the St. Ansgar Planning and Zoning Board. He and his wife, Julie, have two children.


Senate District 27   Amanda Ragan Democratic Party

Amanda Ragan is a graduate of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. In addition to her legislative service, she is the Executive Director of The Community Kitchen of North Iowa, Inc., and the Mason City Meals On Wheels programs.

Senator Ragan and her husband, Jim, live in Mason City and have two grown children and four grandchildren.  Ragan was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2002.

Senate District 28   Michael Breitbach   Republican Party

Senator Michael Breitbach is a 1974 graduate of Edgewood-Colesburg Community Schools and a 1978 graduate of Loras College, where he earned a degree in accounting and business.

After college, Senator Breitbach formed Trans Star Trucking, a 20-employee cement and flyash hauling company, with his brother Tim and Roger Swales in 1984. In 1987, Senator Breitbach joined Smith Insurance in Strawberry Point, a 10-employee agency, eventually becoming a partner in 1992. Senator Breitbach remained a partner for 28 years. In 1997, he purchased Swales Precast Inc, a 15-employee precast concrete manufacturer, with his brother and Roger Swales.

Senator Breitbach also has extensive community leadership and involvement. He serves as a board member of the Clayton County Civil Service Commission, Farmers Savings Bank, Strawberry Point Economic Development Fund, Strawberry Homes and Strawberry Point Leisure Homes. He is a member of the Iowa Motor Truck Association, the Iowa Ready Mixed Concrete Association, the Iowa Concrete Paving Association, the Iowa Bankers Association, Strawberry Point Lions Club, Core Curriculum Committee of Starmont Community School District and an Alumni Member of Leadership Iowa. Senator Breitbach is also a former member of the the Iowa Independent Insurance Association.

Additionally, he served four years on the Strawberry Point City Council, and is a past board member of the Strawberry Point Chamber of Commerce, the Backbone Golf and Country Club and is past president of the Strawberry Point Jaycees. He served 30 years on the Strawberry Point Fire Department, including five years as chief and was an EMT for 22 years.

Senator Breitbach and his wife of 39 years, Theresa, have four adult children. Theresa is a registered nurse at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo and Oelwein. They are members of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

Senate District 29     Carrie Koelker       Republican Party

“We're all in this together! We need leaders who care about protecting Iowa families, not following the party line. I'll always put Iowa's families and communities first!”


Through her work at the Eastern Iowa Tourism Association and the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitors Bureau, Carrie Koelker has over two decades of experience strengthening communities in Eastern Iowa. Carrie will use that expertise to bring family-supporting jobs back to Iowa.


Carrie Koelker is committed to reducing taxes, and making Iowa's tax code simpler, so families can keep more of the money they earn, and job creators can bring new opportunities to Eastern Iowa.


Carrie Koelker understands new career opportunities for Iowa communities require an educated workforce. She is committed to a strong education system that works for all Iowans, helps students reach their full potential, and produces career-ready graduates.

Senate District 30   Jeff Danielson Democratic Party
I’m a Cedar Valley kid, through and through. That’s why I mean it when I say the Cedar Valley is the best place in Iowa to live, work and play. I know, I’ve lived it.  I was born in Waterloo and attended local schools in Cedar Falls and Waterloo.

After graduation from Central High in Waterloo in 1988, I joined the Navy.  Kim and I first met at Edison Jr. High and later married, making us a Navy family.

I served from 1988 to 1994, completing deployments to the western Pacific and the Persian Gulf, earning the Navy Good Conduct, Armed Forces Expeditionary, Southwest Asia and National Defense Service medals. I left the Navy as a Petty Officer 2nd Class to come home with Kim and our son Brendan.

Back home, while working and raising a family, I utilized the G.I. Bill to earn an Associate of Arts from Hawkeye Community College, a Bachelors of Arts in Public Administration (Summa Cum Laude), a minor in Leadership Studies and a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Northern Iowa. Throughout my college career, I was a Golden Key International Honor Society member and earned UNI’s Purple & Old Gold award for meritorious scholarship as the highest grade point (3.96) graduate in the Public Administration program.

Being able to serve my community as a fire fighter is a privilege I do not take for granted. I began working as a fire fighter for the City of Cedar Falls while completing my graduate degree at the University of Northern Iowa and continue to work as a fire fighter while serving in the Iowa Senate.

I returned to UNI in 2006, this time to teach future generations as Professor of Public Policy. My family and I are strong supporters and fans of UNI athletics and activities and try to attend as many games/events as possible. I try to continue serving our community by volunteering for several community boards, commissions & organizations.

Senate District 31 Bill Dotzler Democratic Party

Senator Bill Dotzler was elected in 2014 to his fourth term in the Iowa Senate, after serving three terms in the Iowa House. He represents Waterloo, Evansdale, Elk Run Heights, Raymond, Washburn and Gilbertville in southeast Black Hawk County.

Senator Dotzler is an Assistant Leader and ranking member on the Economic Development Budget. He also serves on the Appropriations, Labor & Business Relations, and Ways & Means committees.

In addition to his legislative work, Senator Dotzler served on the Board at the Iowa Institute for Public Leadership and as a member of the 21st Century Workforce Council and the Governor’s Housing Task Force. He currently serves on the Iowa Workforce Development Board, the Innovation Council, the Small Business Development Council, UNI’s Institute for Decision Making Advisory Council and the Governor’s Future Ready Iowa Task Force.

Dotzler has served his community as chair of the Board of Directors for the Waterloo Nursing Association, president of the Friends of Hartman Reserve Nature Center, and charter president of Cedar Trails Partnership. He was also on the initial Board of Directors of Black Hawk Leadership.

Senator Dotzler was in the United States Army Security Agency, Military Intelligence from 1969-72. Before receiving an Honorable Discharge, he was an Honor Graduate in Special Identification Techniques Operator School in Fort Devens, Massachusetts. He received Top Secret Cryptographic Security Clearance and did his Tour of Duty in Berlin, Germany, from 1970-72.

Dotzler has received numerous special recognitions and awards, including the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award, the Governor’s Special Recognition Award, and the Governor’s Lifesaving Award. In 2000, he received the International Citation Award for workforce development, an award once granted to President Kennedy.

Dotzler graduated from Cedar Falls High school in 1966. He received his Associate of Arts degree from North Iowa Area Community College in 1969 and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology.

He is retired from John Deere Waterloo Works, where he was employed as a Machine Operator and Labor Representative. He also worked for Area 7 Job Training Administration.

Senate District 32   Craig Johnson Republican Party
Senator Craig Johnson is a former Independence Citizen of the Year and Heartland Acres Executive Director. Born and raised in Independence, Senator Johnson brings a diverse background, which includes working in the construction, manufacturing, financial securities and insurance industries.

He and his wife, Susan, have one daughter. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, a lifetime member of the NRA and past member on the Vision Iowa Board.

Senate District 33    Robert M. Hogg Democratic Party

Rob Hogg was elected to his third term in the Iowa Senate in 2014. He previously served two terms in the Iowa House. He represents portions of Cedar Rapids.

Senator Hogg is the Senate Democratic Leader and ranking member on the Rules & Administration Committee.

Active in the Cedar Rapids community, Rob is a member of Christ Episcopal Church, the Indian Creek Nature Center and the Linn County Bar Association.

Rob is originally from Iowa City and attended the University of Iowa, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1988. He received his master’s degree in public affairs and his law degree from the University of Minnesota.

Rob and his wife, Kate, have three children. For more information, visit

Senate District 34      Liz Mathis    Democratic Party

Liz Mathis of Robins was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2011. She represents the people of Robins, Marion, Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, Bertram, Ely, and southern Linn County.

Senator Mathis is ranking member on the Human Resources Committee and on the Administration & Regulation Budget. She also serves on the Appropriations, Commerce and Education committees.

Liz is the daughter of a World War II veteran and a schoolteacher. She grew up on her family’s farm near DeWitt, attended Central Community High School and graduated from the University of Iowa.

Liz was a journalist for 25 years and now works for a child welfare and behavioral health agency that helps troubled kids and their families. She has received numerous awards for her work in journalism, women’s leadership, the legislature and her community, including the Corridor Business Journal’s “Women of Influence” and “Most Influential” awards.

Liz and her husband, Mark, live in Robins. They own a marketing and advertising company and have two children.

Senate District 35    Todd Taylor       Democratic Party

Taylor grew up on the west side of Cedar Rapids and graduated from Jefferson High School. Taylor has bachelor’s degrees in English and political science from Graceland College and the University of Iowa. He and his wife Kim have two children and are members of the Community of Christ. Taylor has spent the last 25 years as an AFSCME union representative.

Senate District 36   Jeff Edler Republican Party

Senator Jeff Edler and his wife, Stephanie, have been married since 1999 and live on a farm north of State Center. They are the parents of five beautiful children: Wyatt, Whitney, Sienna, Elizabeth, and last but certainly not least, Aubrey.

Senator Edler graduated from West Marshall High School in State Center and Iowa State University where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Studies.  He has also attended workshops and classes sponsored by the NRECA (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association) and the IAEC (Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives).  These classes focused on fiduciary, governance, strategic planning, and accountability skills.

Senator Edler is self-employed as a farmer and partner with his brother, Justin Edler. He has farmed with his brother since 1996.  Jeff has been a director on the Consumers Energy Board of Directors since 2006, where he has resided as President of the Board of Directors since 2010.

Senator Edler is an honorary member of the State Center Fire Department, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in State Center and is a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Senate District 37    Zach Wahls        Democratic Party

Zach Wahls is the Democratic nominee for Iowa Senate District 37. Wahls first gained national attention when his testimony before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee about growing up with gay parents went viral and became YouTube’s most-watched political video of 2011. He is an advocate for LGBTQ rights and co-founder and executive director of Scouts for Equality, the national organization which led the campaign to successfully end the Boy Scouts of America’s decades-old ban on gay people. He has spoken at 250+ events all over Iowa and across America, including a primetime speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention supporting President Obama.

Wahls is also the author of the bestselling book My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family. Recently, he and his sister created The Woman Cards, a deck of playing cards featuring 15 original, hand-drawn portraits of American women who changed the world.

A longtime resident of the senate district with deep community roots, Wahls is an Eagle Scout and an active member of the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Coralville. He is a graduate of Iowa City West High School and the University of Iowa, and will receive his master’s degree in public policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School in Spring 2018.

Senate District 38    Tim L. Kapucian Republican Party

Senator Tim Kapucian was first elected in 2008 and works to strengthen Iowa’s economy through job growth legislation and improving the state’s infrastructure.

Senator Kapucian has been involved in agriculture his entire life.  He grew up on a farm northwest of Keystone, and went on to earn a B.S. in animal science from Iowa State University. He has farmed for the last 27 years.  He is a past president of the Iowa Pork Producers and served three years on the Agriculture Advisory Board to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Senator Kapucian and his wife, Brenda, own and run a livestock farm just outside Keystone.

Senate District 39      Kevin Kinney       Democratic Party

Kevin Kinney was elected in 2014 to his first four-year term in the Iowa Senate. He represents the people of Johnson, Keokuk and Washington counties.

Senator Kinney is ranking member on the Agriculture Committee. He also serves on the Ethics, Judiciary and Natural Resources committees, as well as the Agriculture & Natural Resources Budget.

Kevin was born and raised in Oxford, Iowa and has two grown children, Shaun and Megan, with his wife Debbie.

Kevin has been farming for more than 30 years. He owns and operates his family’s century farm, raising livestock and row crops. Kevin recently retired as a Lieutenant in the Investigations Division of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and served his community for 28 years in law enforcement. He also served three terms on the Clear Creek Amana School Board.

Kevin was named the 2014 American Legion’s Midwest Region Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and was the national runner-up for the American Legion National Law Officer of the Year. In 2012, he received the Law Enforcement Victim Service award, as well as the Continuous Service Award from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Kevin is an active member of several community organizations, including the Farm Bureau, Knights of Columbus and the Johnson County Cattlemen’s Association. He has also served on various law enforcement boards with the goal of increasing public safety in Iowa.

Senate District 40    Ken Rozenboom     Republican Party

A farmer, agri-businessman and life-long Iowan who was born and resides in Mahaska County, Senator Ken Rozenboom is a graduate of Pella Christian High School. He attended Calvin College in Michigan. After college, he returned home to farm with his father and brother before taking a position in sales and production management for Wake’s Inc., a local agricultural supplier. After 30 years with Wake’s, he and his brother now operate Rosewood Farms, a family farming operation in rural Mahaska County.

Besides his farm and family life and Board of Supervisors work, Senator Rozenboom has served as an elder and deacon in the Bethel Christian Reformed Church and served several years on the board for the Oskaloosa Christian School.  He served on community boards for many years, including a stint as chairman on two local agencies: the Human Services Resource Council, an organization that provides emergency needs for low income families, and the Christian Opportunity Center board, which provides residential and vocational services for special needs adults. Additionally, Senator Rozenboom is a member of the Mahaska County Farm Bureau and Oskaloosa Rotary Club.

Senator Rozenboom is married, and he and his wife, Becky, have two children. Their daughter and son-in-law live in New South Wales, Australia and have three children. The couple’s adult son lives and works in Alaska.

Senate District 41    Mariannette Miller-Meeks     Republican Party

Mariannette Miller-Meeks is the 4th of 8 children born to Fred and Annette Miller. Fred graduated high school and became a Master Sergeant in Air Force often working 2 or 3 part-time jobs as needed to support his family but eventually fulfilling his dream of owning a solo peanut farm in North Texas. Annette was unable to complete high school but worked as a shop clerk, postal clerk, librarian assistant and medical records technician until her health prevented her continuing in the workforce. The family relocated numerous times in accordance with the needs of the Air Force, but resided mainly in Texas. 

Although economically challenged, Mariannette's parents often lamented to their children how the lack of a college education prohibited them from managerial roles where they were more qualified than their supervisors. These conversations profoundly motivated Mariannette to seek a college education. 

In 8th grade, she decided to pursue teaching as a career despite her parents' displeasure. Her father thought the school system was biased against poor families, but Mariannette loved school and reading. However in 10th grade she and her younger brother were severely burned in a kitchen fire while stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio. During this hospitalization she encountered a wonderful physical therapist whom she desired to emulate and decided she would become a doctor to help others as she had been helped. This was not an idea supported by her parents as they did not envision how this dream could possibly be achieved. 

Through an Army program that paid for the tuition and books for the last 2 years of a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, she left high school and home at 16 to enter San Antonio Junior College, working full time to support herself. Upon completing 2 years of required courses, she transferred to Texas Christian University and was awarded her bachelors degree graduating summa cum laude and inducted into Sigma Theta Tau the National Nursing Honor Society. She transferred from the enlisted ranks into the officer corps as a nurse at 20 years of age. 

She met her future husband while stationed at Walter Reed Army Hospital, and continued to work night shift while procuring the remainder of her pre-med courses. When reassigned to Seoul, Korea, there she completed a Masters of Science degree in Education from University of Southern California because the colleges didn't offer any pre-med courses. After 6 years active duty, she entered medical school in 1982 at the University of Texas and graduated in the top of her class, achieving Alpha Omega Alpha (the national medical honor society). 

After completing her residency in ophthalmology at the University of Iowa, she went on faculty at the University of Michigan and was then recruited back to the University of Iowa as the first woman faculty in the department of ophthalmology. She has authored numerous articles, presented national lectures and research, awarded the Charles Phelps Award in 1995 and has been named numerous times to America's best doctors. 

She is the councilor for Iowa to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), serves as an associate examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology, received an achievement award by the AAO, and was inaugurated as the first woman president of the Iowa Medical Society in 2006. 

For the past 11 years, she and her husband Curt have resided in Ottumwa, IA where she is in private practice and he is the compliance officer at Ottumwa Regional Health Center (having obtained a law degree at the University of Iowa in 1990 while Mariannette was completing her residency). They have 2 fabulous children, a son, Jonathon who is 20 and in college at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY and a daughter, Taylor who is 17 and graduating high school May 25, 2008. 

Mariannette has coached soccer, taught science classes for the 6th grade, served on the parish council of St. Mary’s church, president of the Wapello County Medical Society twice, and president of the medical staff of Ottumwa Regional Health Center. Curt has served as chair of RAGBRAI and Komen Race for the Cure and is a member of the Rotary Club and Izaak Walton League. 

Mariannette organized a physician recruitment and retention organization to help bring physicians to the Southeast Iowa area. She retired from the US Army Reserve in 1998 after 24 years at the rank of Lt. Colonel and after a 15 month deployment following 9/11, Curt retired in 2006 at the rank of Lt. Colonel. They enjoy watching the wildlife outside the family room window (even had a gray wolf stroll by), walking, reading and attending their teenager’s activities.

Senate District 42     Rich Taylor    Democratic Party

Rich Taylor was elected to his second term in the Iowa Senate in 2016. He represents Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties.

Senator Taylor is ranking member on the Judiciary Committee. He also serves on the Agriculture and Labor & Business Relations committees..

Beginning in high school at age 17, Rich served 7 years in the National Guard. He is a licensed Master Electrician, Master HVAC Technician and Master Refrigeration Mechanic. He worked for 26 years at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, where he was in charge of repairing and operating the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems.

Rich is an advocate for public safety in our communities. As such, he was often called upon in his work at the Penitentiary to repair and maintain vital equipment to keep inmates and correctional officers safe and secure.

Through his work at the Penitentiary, he also learned the importance of efficient government. In 1988, Rich took charge of an Environmental Facilities Improvement project that was estimated to save the state over $100,000 a year in energy costs. This was one the first truly “GREEN” Projects implemented by the State of Iowa.

Rich is a member of his local Union, where he served as a Blue Collar Steward and Treasurer for AFSCME Local 2989. He was also a 14-year member of the bargaining team that negotiated statewide contracts and an early retirement program under Governor Culver that saved the state an estimated $81 million after the recession of 2008.

Rich is a lifelong resident of the Mount Pleasant area. His is married to Annette and has two children: Stephanie, a licensed Esthetician, and Nicholas, who works as a Refrigeration Technician at Pinnacle Foods in Fort Madison.

Senate District 43   Joe Bolkcom    Democratic Party

State Senator Joe Bolkcom is currently serving his fifth term in the Iowa Senate. He represents Iowa City, University Heights, East Lucas Township and the city of Hills. He previously served for six years on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors.

State Senator Joe Bolkcom is an Assistant Leader and ranking member on the Appropriations Committee. He also serves on the Human Resources and Ways & Means committees, as well as the Health & Human Services Budget.

Before becoming a county supervisor, he worked for three years at the Johnson County Public Health Department addressing the county’s leading heath issues, including youth access to tobacco products and environmental health concerns.

Joe helped found and direct two senior citizen advocacy organizations fighting for lower health care cost for seniors in Iowa and Illinois. He has also been active in state and local environmental protection efforts.

Joe works as the outreach and community Education Director for the UI center for Global and Regional Environmental Research and the Iowa Flood Center.

Senator Bolkcom lives in Iowa City. His hobbies include running, bicycling, cooking, and gardening. Senator Bolkcom graduated from Saint Ambrose University and earned a masters degree in Public Affairs from University of Iowa.


Senate District 44 Tom Greene Republican Party

Senator Tom Greene was born and raised in Burlington, Iowa. He and his wife, Linda, have four adult children and four grandchildren.

Senator Greene is a graduate of Drake University (Class of 1973) and was a pharmacist in Burlington for over 40 years. Senator Greene is the past president of the Burlington School Board, past chairman of the Greater Burlington Partnership, and served on the Partnership’s Legislative Affairs Committee. He also has been a member of the Burlington Noon Lions Club since 1997.

Senate District 45     Jim Lykam Democratic Party
Jim Lykam was elected to the Iowa Senate in 2016. He previously served six terms in the Iowa House of Representatives. He represents Davenport and the southern portion of Scott County along the Mississippi River on the eastern border of Iowa.

Jim serves on the Commerce, Natural Resources and Transportation committees, as well as the Administration & Regulation Budget.

Jim ran for the Legislature to maintain Iowa’s excellent education system, create good jobs, ensure public safety and find new ways to grow our state. He wants future generations to find good jobs and interesting opportunities that keep them in Iowa.

Jim has an extensive record of civic involvement. He served on the Davenport Plan & Zoning Commission and on the Park & Recreation Advisory Committee, where he chaired the baseball subcommittee. He has also served as vice-president of the Davenport Colt League, manager of the West Pony League and member emeritus of the Scott County Humane Society. His memberships include the Davenport Moose Lodge, Davenport Masonic Lodge and the Kaaba Shrine.

Jim was born and raised in Davenport. He is a graduate of Davenport West High School and Palmer Junior College. He ran a small business for more than 25 years.

Jim and his wife of 45 years, Barb, live in Davenport. Barb is a nurse. They have an adult son, Jeff.

Senate District 46    Mark Lofgren    Republican Party

Senator Mark Lofgren earned his B.B.A in finance from the University of Iowa. His professional experience includes careers in both the real estate and investment industries, formerly owning and operating Lofgren Investments, and a real estate business.  His current position is a real estate associate with Re/Max Professionals in Muscatine. He has earned a Chartered Financial Consultant designation, Certified Residential Specialist and Graduate of Real Estate Institute designations and has served two terms in the Iowa House.

Senator Lofgren is a lifelong resident of Iowa. He has been married to his wife, Paula, for 27 years. They have four children: Emily, Olivia, Maggie, and Markus, and two granddaughters. Senator Lofgren is a former track, basketball, and soccer coach for the Muscatine Community Y and Youth Sports Foundation. He also is an avid runner in his free time.

Senate District 47     Roby Smith     Republican Party
Let me introduce myself: my name is Roby Smith and I am the proud husband to Kari Smith. We have four amazing children: Noelle (9), Kyle (6), Adam (4) and Natalie (2). I was raised in the Midwest by two elementary educators. After my high school graduation, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with a minor in Communications from Concordia University. I worked at a bank for almost ten years and am now a small business owner.

We are members at Trinity Lutheran Church in Davenport,where we lead in variety of ways.

I enjoy being involved in the community.Some of my favorties are teaching Junior Achievent, helping with Kids Against Hunger, coaching sports, and judging Event Iowa.

Senate District 48   Dan Zumbach   Republican Party

Senator Dan Zumbach is a grain farmer who also hauls grain and sells farm equipment. Senator Zumbach said he is encouraged by the outpouring of support he has received as he travels through the district, meeting with Iowans and listening to their concerns and ideas.

Beside his work on the family farm, Senator Zumbach is a former member of the West Delaware School Board and the Delaware County Fair Board. He is a former Delaware County 4-H leader and a former official for the Iowa High School Athletic Association. Senator Zumbach is also a member of Farm Bureau and the Ryan Lions Club.

He and his wife, Michelle, have four children, two grandsons and live near Ryan.

Senate District 49   Chris Cournoyer    Republican Party  

As a small business owner, mother of four children, and president of the Pleasant Valley Community School Board, Chris Cournoyer is passionate about strengthening our economy, our schools, and our communities.


Chris is married to Kurt Cournoyer. They have four children: Bennett, Sydney, and twins Tanner and Chase.


Chris has a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from the University of Texas (1992).


Chris served as Senior Consultant in the Technology Division at Andersen Consulting, serving in the Ecommerce Community of Practice. Currently, Chris is a self-employed website designer and developer.


  • Current President of the Pleasant Valley School Board
  • Reserve Deputy, Scott County Sheriff's Department, 2016 - Present
  • Junior League of the Quad Cities, Advocacy Committee and Social Media Chair
  • Appointed by Governor Terry Branstad to the Southeast Iowa STEM Advisory Board to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in our region and across the state, 2014 - Present
  • Member, North Scott Rotary Club, Group Study Exchange Participant to Bavaria, Germany in 1996
  • Cub Scout Pack 88 Den Leader; Executive Board Member 2004-2006
  • President, Quad City Engineering & Science Council 2016-Present, Executive Board, Communications Chair 2014-Present
  • LeClaire Community Library President: Friends of the LeClaire Community Library 2011-Present and Board Member/Secretary: 2004-2006
  • Mentor for Iowa Girls Code, a team of PVHS girls interested in Computer Science, 2016-17; facilitated "Hour of Code" for over 500 elementary students to learn about computer programming
  • Helped organize the PV Trapshooting team in 2014
  • Coach for the First Lego League (FLL) Robotics, 2010-2012
  • Pleasant Valley Junior High School: PTA President 2012-2014
  • LeClaire Chamber of Commerce Board Member, Secretary, Membership Chairperson, Newsletter Committee, Outstanding Volunteer Award - 2005; Outstanding Recruitment Award - 2004 and 2005; Webmaster through 2013
  • Volunteer Basketball, baseball and soccer coach

Senate District 50    Pam Jochum Democratic Party

Born and raised in Dubuque, Pam Jochum knows what matters to those who live and work in the area. Elected to Iowa House in 1992 and then to the Iowa Senate in 2008, she is respected for her ability to build coalitions that get things done for Dubuque and Iowa.

Senator Jochum is ranking member on the Ways & Means Committee and on the Administrative Rules Review Committee. She also serves on the Ethics, Human Resources, State Government and Rules & Administration committees.

Senator Jochum’s priorities include health care, education, tax policies and oversight of the Governor’s rule-making authority. She works hard to ensure the balance of power between the Legislative and Executive branches of government.

Among her many accomplishments, Senator Jochum has played a leading role in expanding affordable health insurance coverage to thousands of working Iowans and has stood up for citizens with disabilities to protect their health services when the Governor privatized Iowa’s Medicaid system. Her support for and commitment to education has been unwavering. She has worked to expand early childhood education and ensure affordable higher education, whether at a state university, a private college or a community college. Her influence is evident throughout Iowa law—from historic reforms in Iowa’s commercial property taxes and revitalizing manufacturing to nationally acclaimed legislation in ethanol production, wind energy, solar energy and flood mitigation programs. Furthermore, through Pam’s persistent work for more than five years, our state now has the Iowa Public Information Board to ensure government transparency and access to public information and records.

Pam learned the value of a hard-day’s work from her parents. She graduated at the top of her class at Wahlert High School and Loras College. She worked as an administrator at Loras College, and also worked at an insurance agency, Legal Aid, and a financial services company before running for public office.

Pam believes creating an economy that works for all Iowans is vital to Iowa’s future. That means living wage jobs, top-notch education, quality child care, affordable health care,a tax system in which all pay their fair share, and a fiscally responsible budget that meets the needs of citizens. She also understands the role that our environment plays in the health and economic success of our state and nation.

Because of her strong advocacy and efforts to improve the lives of Iowans, Senator Jochum has received honors from the League of Cities, Firefighters Association, child advocacy organizations, Freedom of Information Council, physical therapists, physician assistants, Iowa Hospital Association, Iowa Caregivers, Iowa Health Care Association, League of Women Voters, the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce, labor unions, Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and many more.