Occupation: Executive Director & Property Manager
District: Iowa House District 71
Education: Bachelor’s Degree University of Northern Iowa
Why did you decide to run for office?
I decided to run for office because I feel I have the leadership ability to create positive change for the people of Marshall County. Throughout my career, I have gained over 30 years of leadership experience. This experience includes working with the state legislature, contracting with state agencies, working with the mental health regions, managing large budgets, and leading people. I have worked closely with the legislative process at the state level and feel I would be a good asset to the Legislature.
What do you hope to accomplish?
I plan to reign in reckless spending, balance our state budget, grow jobs, improve education, expand mental health services, create affordable housing, provide renewable energy, and expand our economy.
What would you like the voters to know?
I would like voters to know that I am a very hard-working, passionate person that will take those traits and use them to serve the voters as their State Representative. Through my life experiences, I have learned so much that it will be beneficial for all of the voters in this district. I am the Executive Director of the Central Iowa Juvenile Detention Center and also a small business owner of a property management company. I grew up around farming; my dad ran a feed mill for over 40 years, I have a good understanding of the needs of farmers and some of the hurdles that get in the way. I have worked closely with Iowa’s Mental Health Regions and the creation of a children’s mental health system, which is so needed in our state. I look forward to the opportunity to REPRESENT every person in this district to improve their lives.
What would you like to share about your business background?
I have almost 30 years of experience with Financial Management and working with State Government have given me great insight into the responsibilities of this role. I have been at Central Iowa Juvenile Detention Center since 1994, serving in 3 different roles. I have been the Executive Director since 1997. In this role, I have the responsibility of managing over $14 million each year and the leadership of 125 employees. In addition, I have also been a landlord in Marshalltown since 1994 and have been able to provide AFFORDABLE housing to hundreds of people. I am the owner of All American Property Management LLC, which is a small business based in Marshalltown.
The current representative serving Iowa House District 71 is Mark Smith. Smith was first elected in 2001, but in the fall of 2019 announced that he would retire at the end of his term. News of his retirement from the state legislature was music to House Republican ears. The GOP has seen many candidates take on Smith over the years, some better than others, but all losing. The GOP firmly believes that it was Smith’s name recognition and popularity, not the district, that was keeping them from winning. With Smith out of the way, the Republicans are optimistic about their chances.
Democrats view House District 71 as theirs, but Republicans point to a changing political landscape to justify their optimism. In 2014, Joni Ernst won the seat by 2%, but then Trump Lost it by 1.5%. However, all of the 71st fits into Mashall county. Marshall County is one of the 31 counties in Iowa that voted for Obama in 2008 (8.3%) and 2012 (9.3%) but then swung to support Trump in 2016 (9.3%).
One factor that should be noted is Mark Smith’s new role. He’s now the Chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party. He took over after Troy Price was fired this year following the Democratic Caucus disaster. It’s safe to say that the Chairman will have his eye on his old seat, and may provide it a little extra attention.