Iowa natives Mike Brown and David Edwards hope they are among a group of fresh Republican faces in the Iowa Legislature next year. Brown is running for House District 40, the seat being vacated by 14-year representative Scott Raecker. Edwards’ hopes rest in heavily Democratic Senate District 16. He is facing five-term incumbent senator Dick Dearden.
Mike Brown gives Republicans a solid shot at hanging on to Raecker’s seat. They hold a voter registration advantage of 1465 in HD 40, which is comprised of most of Urbandale. The Democrats recruited a strong candidate, Urbandale City Councilman John Forbes. Mike Brown also brings an impressive resume to the race. He served as a former pararescueman in the U.S. Air Force for six years.
“My job was to save downed servicemen, pilots,” Brown said at the Polk County GOP convention last weekend. “I was on the tip of the spear for a lot of deployments all over the world. But I’m back here in Iowa. I had a choice when I got out to live anywhere in the country. I could have written my own ticket, but I chose Urbandale, Iowa because of the schools, because of the people, because of the community, because of the good Midwest values that I hold dear to my heart and I’m going to represent Urbandale the same way.”
Brown opened his own health and fitness business in Urbandale, called CrossFit Des Moines. His campaign website lists economic growth, efficient and effective government and fiscal responsibility as three key issues. Brown also stresses that he is a pro-life family man who comes from a family of educators.
“I started from scratch so I know what it’s like to have a dream, start with little, and be an entrepreneur in the free market and make things work and to create jobs,” Brown said. “I know firsthand what it’s like to run a budget and it was a great experience for me and we’re doing very well thus far.”
David Edwards’ efforts to join the Iowa Legislature will be a little more difficult than Mike Brown’s. Republicans are outnumbered 2-1 in Senate District 16, located on Des Moines’ east side and in Pleasant Hill. Edwards plans to run on his conservative principles. During his speech at the Polk County GOP convention, Edwards explained his pro-life beliefs by referencing his grandson, Sammy.
“When I say Sammy’s 19 weeks old, it’s the complete truth,” Edwards said. “I’ve seen pictures of his little hands and feet, but Sammy’s still in the womb. Should it be legal, if someone determined his life is not viable, to kill my grandson? I will protect life.”
Edwards received big applause for that statement. He also promised to “defend liberty” and spoke out against a gun ban at a local campground. Edwards then detailed the folly in a nanny state ordinance proposed by the Des Moines City Council two years ago. The ordinance would have fined landowners $25 for chopping down a tree on their own property and required them to replace it with another.
“Should it be illegal for me for me to cut down my own trees to heat my own home to keep my kids warm, just because somebody in government thinks they have the right to control my property? I will protect property rights,” Edwards said.
David Edwards served six years in the Iowa National Guard. He is a former PTA officer and currently works as a laborer for Des Moines public schools.
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