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I am running for the Iowa Senate because I believe Southern Iowans deserve a better deal than we’ve been getting from Des Moines. 

It’s time for a fresh approach to politics and a fresh start for Southern Iowa. I am not a career politician. I am not using my candidacy as a springboard to higher office.  I am running because as a native southern Iowan, I understand the issues and the hurdles rural Iowans face.  My Iowa roots are from a family of coal miners, blue collar workers and farmers of whom I am proud.  I am a lifelong educator, political activist, and citizen of Iowa’s rural communities.

 

I know what rural poverty is.  I’ve experienced it.  I know what it means to live in communities where jobs are hard to come by and jobs that pay a living wage, even harder. I know what it is to educate and raise our children with good values and a strong work ethic only to watch them move away for better jobs and greater economic opportunities.

I also understand small town pride and see it in the parades, the local booster clubs and community organizations, the volunteerism and civic engagement.  It demonstrates the  ongoing commitment of Iowans to make their communities the best they can possibly be.

I am committed to:

  • sustaining the vitality of rural communities by providing financial incentives to grow small businesses, retain local schools, improve local infrastructure, and provide affordable housing.
  • making sure the minimum wage is a livable wage.
  • restoring collective bargaining for public employees.  Iowa was nationally recognized for collective bargaining legislation that was passed by a Republican governor with bipartisan support and it worked for Iowa’s public employees and for Iowa for over 40 years.
  • funding for public education, K-12 and higher education, so that there is financial equity between school districts across Iowa and so the educational opportunities you have access to aren’t dependent on where you live.
  • fighting to end the privatization of Medicaid and to make healthcare the affordable, accessible and quality healthcare that is the right of all Iowans.
  • bringing agriculture, business and citizens to the table to guarantee that all parties have a stake and a voice in guaranteeing that the land, the water, and the air we breathe is of the highest quality.
  • guaranteeing greater representation of women and women’s issues.  Currently only seven seats out of fifty in the Iowa senate are held by women.  Yet the senate makes decisions every day about the most intimate aspects of women’s lives.
  • guaranteeing that Iowa’s water is of the highest quality for human and animal consumption and for the public to enjoy for recreational purposes while also guaranteeing that we practice responsible water conservation.
  • providing accessible mental health care.  Mental health care in Iowa is nearly nonexistent and funding has been cut in recent years. I will work to restore funding and increase access to mental health care.

My campaign is a grassroots campaign composed of windshield time, shoe leather, hundreds of cups of coffee and the generous donations of time and money from voters across the district.  I have no full-time campaign staff.  I write my own speeches, maintain my own social media, write my own thank-you notes and many times bake the cinnamon rolls for my coffee and conversation events.  For the past year I have driven over nine thousand miles across our four counties meeting with individuals and with groups, listening to your voices and your concerns.

I believe in Iowa and I believe it’s time to take it back from political extremists, career politicians pushing their own agendas rather than ours, dark money, and out-of-state interests.   That’s why I’m asking for your help, help to get the funds to take this fight to November. Contributing is easy, and only takes a moment. Please help me make this OUR fresh start toward a better Southern Iowa.  And remember you can also help by clicking the Contribute link here, or in the menu above, or by sending a check to Stewart for Senate, PO Box 1817, Ottumwa, IA 52501.