Name: Garrett Gobble
District: House District-38
City: Ankeny
Age: 24
Background: Teacher
Family: Wife, Elizabeth
Committees: Education Appropriations Subcommittee (Vice-Chair), Education, Local Government, Public Safety, IT

As session began last week, both the Governor and legislative leaders put a spotlight on Iowa’s classrooms, indicating that they’ll be working hard to give parents more of a say in their child’s education.

That focus on schools puts newly-elected State Representative Garrett Gobble right in the center of the action.

Gobble, an eighth-grade social studies teacher in the Ankeny school district, spoke frequently during the campaign about the struggles that students, parents, and teachers alike faced during the pandemic.

“I’ve seen in my experience that there’s no substitute for in-person learning – not just in terms of academics, but the social and emotional development you gain from that as well,” said Gobble. “I think we all want to see our students back in school safely wherever possible, and I look forward to working with all members on how we can do that.”

Gobble has been officially on the job for just a week, but he’s getting right down to business. He is one of fourteen new members in the Republican caucus this year, and he says he’s excited by the variety of viewpoints that they are bringing to the table.

“We have small business owners, folks in agriculture, law enforcement,” Gobble said. “We all recognize that we have different areas of expertise, and I think all of us are doing a really good job of communicating what our strengths are, and then also leaning on each other when we’re not in our strength.”

Gobble says that the caucus will continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on Iowa’s families and economies this session. One of the top issues on his mind is expanding access to childcare. On the campaign trail, Gobble heard from many parents who were struggling with the excessive costs of childcare, often having to make the difficult decision between staying home from work

“This was a problem that existed before, but it was obviously amplified with COVID – so I think it’s super important that we address it, and I’m glad that we are on the same page as the Governor on that,” Gobble said.

Overall, Gobble described a busy atmosphere at the State Capitol. He said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to serve his district, and that he takes that responsibility seriously.

“We’re all working together, we are coming back and excited to get to work,” he said. “But we also recognize the harsh reality that we’re facing and the actions we need to take because our citizens are hurting.”