District: Iowa House District 39
Occupation: Tech Entrepreneur
Why did you decide to run for office?
As a person with mental health in our at large family, I’m passionate about real mental health solutions, providing innovative education for students who learn differently, vocational opportunities, protection of life, tax reform, strengthening families, criminal justice reform and entrepreneurial job growth.
What do you hope to accomplish?
I’m proposing a number of revenue-positive solutions, including rapid response mental health units, Life Information Act, and S.M.A.R.T. education policies including pushes for vocational and technology paths.
What would you like the voters to know?
As a multicultural and bilingual pastor and musician involved in several church plants and languages and cultures, I’ve worked with and listened to a number of communities about how to make lives better.
Further, as a tech entrepreneur and app developer, I teach free coding classes at the Johnston Library and throughout the community. I am able to teach these students both app development and business skills as a result of the successful apps.
This district is an interesting one. At the risk of repeating a cliche that I dread, it all comes down to turnout. Iowa House District 39 is mostly a suburban seat in northwestern Polk County. In 2016, Republicans held the district with a turnout that was only about 1/2% higher than the Democrats. In 2018 the Republicans lost the seat to Democrat Karin Derry. Democrats turned out at approximately 80% Republicans turned out at about 75%. Republican Representative Jake Highfill lost by only 305 votes. The 2018 midterms were tough for Republicans across the country. Despite her strong showing across the state in 2018, Governor Reynolds won the district by only about a point. Republicans were so confident about their ability to hold the seat in ’18 decided not to invest any money in it early on. It wasn’t until the last minute of the campaign that they put some cash on the table. It was too little too late. Interestingly enough, this was the only seat in the state where the winner did not get 50% of the vote in 2018.
If Republicans can reach parity on turnout, a very reasonable expectation considering inevitably higher turnout in a presidential year, they feel confident in their ability to take it back. Karin Derry ran as a moderate Democrat. However, the GOP will take every opportunity to message voters that she has been a dependable ally to the far left Liberal bock of Dems in the legislature.
Additionally, the Republican legislator who lost the seat in 2018, Jake Highfill, is now leading the Republican legislative, political arm. It’s fair to say that Iowa House district 39 and candidate Eddie Andrews will be getting plenty of extra attention.