Gazette Editorial Board
We endorsed Liz Mathis during the heated 2011 special election race for Senate District 18 because of her depth of knowledge and perspective about child welfare and education issues, and because of her ability to communicate and work with people of all stripes. We haven’t been disappointed.
In her short time in office, Mathis has been a welcome voice of moderation in a statehouse that can be disappointingly partisan. She’s been a quick study and she’s earned a return trip for a full term in the newly revised District 34 over newcomer Ryan Flood, a late replacement on the Republican
We don’t agree with everything Tim Kapucian has advocated for during his first term. He signed on to a number of bills — including a handful of proposed constitutional amendments — that have distracted legislators from what we see as more pressing business.
But overall, the Keystone-area farmer is a common-sense legislator with a practical perspective. The ranking member of the Senate Transportation Committee is serious about property tax reform and challenges how far the state should go in offering tax incentives to entice businesses to locate here. We think he deserves another term, although his opponent, Democrat Shelley Parbs of Center
Point, is a capable opponent who is experienced in and knowledgeable about labor and business
If voters return him, Kapucian should focus his energies on the issues that matter most to all Iowans.
Since taking a seat in the state House in 2009, Nate Willems, D-Lisbon, has ably represented his constituents and earned the respect of his peers.
The former ranking member of the House Education Committee demonstrates a good grasp of the challenges and opportunities ahead as legislators continue working on comprehensive K-12 education reform.
Willems, an attorney, has worked to increase the availability of Advanced Placement courses to high school students. We respect his ideas about how to further broaden educational opportunities, including those for rural students, while protecting educational integrity.
His experience, for now, gives him an edge over a quality opponent in Republican Dan Zumbach, a Ryan area farmer who has considerable community service and involvement.