District: Iowa House 38
Facebook address: www.facebook.com/gobbleforiowahouse/
Education: Danville (Iowa) High School (2013); Southeastern Community College, A.A. (2015); University of Iowa, B.A. History with Political Science minor (2017)
Campaign website: gobbleforiowa.com
Why did you decide to run for office?
I made the decision to run for office after my first year of teaching. In my first year and in the semester of substitute teaching prior to it, I encountered many obstacles and struggles. Some of these obstacles related to overcrowded classes, teachers pushed to the limit in terms of time commitments and duties, and a lack of teacher control and freedom in the classroom. These issues were not contained to any one district but were emblematic of teaching in Iowa as a whole. I decided to run because I felt a true teacher’s voice was needed at the Capitol–a voice that could advocate for the problems teachers face, not just ask for a blank check for education in the hopes that money will fix everything. I also feel a duty to my home state to help it run well and safely. I believe I can help our state by budgeting responsibly, proposing common-sense solutions, and working tirelessly for the people of Iowa and my district.
What do you hope to accomplish?
I hope to work towards always ensuring we have a rainy-day fund as a state. Coming out of COVID, we see now more than ever the importance of responsibly planning for the future. I will continue this attitude towards budgeting and making sure responsibility and efficiency are the hallmarks of our state. I also desire to help Iowa schools and our education system return to prominence and prestige in our country. I intend to do this by returning student accountability in behavior and productivity in our schools, allowing our teachers to teach free of bureaucratic interference and making sure the funds allocated to our schools are put in the place they will be most beneficial to our students. I will also be a strong advocate for more workplace training in our schools as well as more career preparation options like welding, electrical work, and other common trades so needed in our society.
What would you like the voters to know?
I would like the voters to know that I will work hard for them. I will not let partisan politicking get in the way of the best solutions for Iowa. I want to always work on making our government more efficient so money can be spent to its fullest extent, saved for the future, and returned to the hard-working people of our state through tax relief. Our state is best when we work together and I will bring a willingness to listen and advocate for common-sense to our Capitol.
What experiences have prepared you to serve in the legislature?
When I began my adult life, I worked two jobs, one teaching and one clerking at Hy-Vee. This instilled in me a work ethic to serve others to the best of my ability and the value and reward of a hard day of work. During this time I also had to live on a limited income and adopted a basic and common-sense approach to budgeting for my family, an approach I believe the state should follow. Like a family, the state should be fiscally responsible and take nothing for granted. Working in a school with many coworkers and students of varying backgrounds and opinions prepared me to be quick to listen and slower to speak. This approach helps me to view all the options in front of me and to work with others to make those options better.
District 38 is south and west of the city of Ankeny. The Democratic incumbent, Rep. Heather Matson, won by 506 votes in 2018. However, Donald Trump took the district by 7 points two years earlier. Garrett announced his run last fall and those who have followed the race see him a hard-working and eager to do the basic block and tackling work required to win (surprisingly hard to get with some candidates).
An effective grounding game can make all the difference in this race. Republicans have developed and deployed a COVID-19 modified in person field operation. If the Democrats continue to employ their virtual campaign approach, that may give an additional advantage to the Republicans.