Charles Schneider’s victory speech lasted less than two minutes, but he packed plenty into that brief time. The newly elected state senator for Iowa’s District 22 made it clear that he intends to serve the people who helped put him into office.
“I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can to represent you well in the Iowa Senate and that means also that I need to hear from you as the session goes on,” Schneider told supporters. “Don’t lose my email address. Don’t lose my cell phone number. Get in touch with me. Let me know what’s on your mind, what you’re hearing, share your thoughts, your opinions on things and please help me to be the best representative of your interests that I can possibly be.”
A crowd of around 50 supporters and Republican officials gathered at the Waukee GOP Victory office as they waited for election results to come in. The attendees included Governor Branstad, Republican Party of Iowa Chairman A.J. Spiker, Iowa Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix and State Senator Jack Whitver.
After Schneider won Polk County by 153 votes, campaign staff, aides and volunteers were confident that the votes from Dallas County would provide a sizeable win. They were not disappointed. When the final votes finally came in, Charles Schneider defeated Democrat Desmund Adams 5,371-4,117, a 13% margin. The special election was held due to the passing of Senator Pat Ward, who died of cancer in October.
Schneider spoke to the crowd of supporters just a few seconds after the final vote totals were posted on the Dallas County government website. The new senator-elect immediately thanked his biggest supporter, his wife Lisa.
“She’s been terrific in this,” Schneider said. “Those of you who volunteered know that she’s been out knocking on doors, handing out literature, manning the phone bank, addressing friends and family letters, she’s just been terrific and I could not have done it without you. Thank you.”
The special election victory was made possible due to the hard work of many people, including the candidate and his family, campaign staff, volunteers and the Dallas and Polk County GOP central committees. Their hard work did not go unnoticed by Charles Schneider.
“There are a lot of people who aren’t here tonight who also helped and I could list everybody’s name, because everyone has chipped in some measure and I really appreciate all that you’ve done,” Schneider said. “What we’ve won tonight is not a seat for me, it’s a seat for you.”
Following a disappointing November election, in which the Republicans lost two incumbents, they selected new leadership. Bill Dix (R- Shell Rock) won on a unanimous vote. The Senate Minority Leader heaped praise on the newest member of his caucus.
“It feels great,” Dix told TheIowaRepublican. “I’m really happy for the people of this district. They’ve elected a great representative for the senate and I’m confident he’ll do a good job.”
Schneider’s victory makes the party breakdown in the Iowa Senate 26-24, in favor of the Democrats. It is exactly the same division that existed the past two years. That small majority has allowed Democrat Leader Mike Gronstal to thwart some of the most important items on the Republicans’ agenda. However, Senator Dix vows that his group will remain vigiliant.
“What’s really exciting is the Senate Republican caucus is a group of young, energetic people and people who don’t take no for answer,” Dix said. “So, I have every bit of confidence they know and are very conscious of who put them in the spots that they’re in. They’re all duly elected and they’re not going to lose sight of the fact that we need to continue to keep spending under check in our state, make our state competitive so we’ll see more investment take place, which results in better opportunities for the people of Iowa and that’s what we’re going to stay focused on.”
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