Royce Phillips, a former two-term mayor of Tiffin, is seeking the Republican nomination in Iowa Senate 39, an open-seat district covering al of Keokuk County and parts of Johnson and Washington counties.
Phillips, a current city council member in the Johnson County community is the second Republican to announce in Senate 39 and a third person is contemplating the race for the seat held by Sen. Sandy Greiner, R-Keota. She is retiring.
Phillips, 60, the pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Coralville, plans an announcement tour Aug. 26 with stops at 9-10 a.m., K’s on the Square, Sigourney; noon to 1 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Washington; and Olde Town Gazebo, 6:30-7:30 p.m., North Liberty.
Michael Moore of Washington also is running for the GOP nomination. An accountant, he is the CEO/president of the Unites Presbyterian Home there, where he has been employed since 1976.
Bob Anderson, a Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee member, is considering the race.
No Democratic candidate has announced.
A Texas native, Phillips has lived in Johnson County since 1983 and been active in several organizations. He’s in his second term as president of the North Corridor-Coralville Rotary and has been a board member since 1996. Phillips is the president and current board member of the Iowa City Genealogy Society, a past member of the Iowa City Community School District Equity Committee, chartered a Cub Scout Pack, coached Babe Ruth Baseball, and served as the commissioner of the Iowa City Kickers Soccer League.
He and his wife, Cindy, have been married for 36 years and are the parents of four grown children.
He has a bachelor’s degree in theology from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, a master’s in theology from Louisiana Bible University in Shreveport, Louisiana, and is working on his PhD in church history from that school.
He has been active in Republican Party politics as a member of the Johnson County GOP Central Committee for nearly 30 years and has served on numerous state and district committees including, credentials, rules, permanent organization and platform. Phillips has served a chairperson of the county caucus, as well a parliamentarian for several county, district and state conventions.
Democrats hold a 26-24 majority in the Iowa Senate, so the race is significant for both parties.
State senators serve four-year terms and are paid $25,000 a year plus expenses.