Democratic candidates go virtual before election

On Oct. 1, Democratic candidates for county, state, and congressional office talked to voters via Zoom. They highlighted their platforms on a variety of local, state, and national issues.
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Jones County Democrats held a virtual forum with local, state, and congressional candidates on Oct. 1.

     Due to the local COVID-19 restrictions, organizers chose to hold the event via Zoom, inviting candidates and the public to log on and hear directly from the candidates themselves. They were also able to ask questions of the candidates as the Nov. 3 General Election nears.

     Throughout the session, there was anywhere between 17 and 21 attendees. Organizers said they had 22 people register in advance for the event.

     Eric Green of Monticello is running for Iowa Senate District 48.

     “I’m a small business owner and the son of a small business owner,” Green said. “I get to do business with a lot of other local business owners as well.”

     Green said it’s important to him to buy and shop local, something he called his opponent out for as a member of the Senate Transportation Committee.

     Green is a proponent of education, higher wages, fair taxes, and accessibility.

     He wants to see schools get increased funding from the state so teachers don’t have to use their own money to buy needed supplies and schools don’t have to share resources.

     “They’ve had to find creative ways around problems that they didn’t cause. So I would increase the funding that way they could use the creativity to help the students,” he said.

     Green also wants to see a higher wage so people don’t have to work multiple jobs, long hours just to make ends meet.

     “My opponent actually voted against a modest minimum wage increase,” he said.

     He also plans to make himself available to his constituents, making sure they know why and how he votes on important issues.

     Andy McKean currently represents Iowa House District 58.

     “These are very challenging times we face. It’s important to have steady, thoughtful leadership, working toward solutions that are serious problems we face,” said McKean. “I believe that I have been a trusted friend in trying times. I have done my best to work hard for the people I represent.”

     McKean’s legislative priorities include: rural revitalization, quality education, affordable and accessible healthcare, mental health reform, work with conservation, prepare our youth for the jobs of tomorrow, and fiscal responsibility. He is proud to represent rural Iowa.

     “Helping the people in the communities I represent get things done is the part of the job I enjoy the most. I make it my business to be there to lend a helping hand,” McKean said.

     He also noted the divisive nature of politics all over the country right now, and said the best way to get anything accomplished is to have split control.

     “I believe we can disagree without being disagreeable. With split control, since bills have to pass both chambers, Democrats and Republicans are forced to work together to achieve common ground. At this point in my life, the only goal is to do the best job for you, that I know how.”

     Wayne Manternach is the current County Supervisor for District 1. He’s served on the board for 12 years, and takes pride in such projects as regional mental health, improved county roads and bridges, and improvements to Central Park.

     “I am proud of my resume and my accomplishments in the 12 years,” Manternach said.

     In terms of county infrastructure, Manternach offered, “It’s imperative that we keep our secondary roads going in this direction.”

     In his time on the board of supervisors, Manternach has served as the only chair of the regional mental health board, which includes nine area counties.

     “We have partnered to increase services to levy less in the mental health tax levy,” he explained.

     “In my 12 years, I have been on several boards that have made a huge impact on the quality of life and on taxes for the citizens of Jones County,” continued Manternach. “I plan to continue to work extremely hard at making Jones County a great place to live, to grow a family and to work.”

     Joe Oswald, current County Supervisor for District 2, is running unopposed. He is in his eighth year on the board.

     Oswald said he is proud of the courthouse renovations that have taken place over the last two years.

     “It’s very impressive. Some very nice improvements done there,” he praised.

     Stuart Adams of Stone City is running for County Supervisor District 5.

     “This is my first foray into the public office arena. I would really like the opportunity gain some experience,” Adams said.

     He spent 10 ½ years in the Air Force and 32 years working for a technology company in Cedar Rapids.

     “I’ve managed large, administrative projects and budgets,” shared Adams. “I’ve learned to adapt as company business needs changed over time.”

     Now that he’s retired, Adams said he has as much time as needed to devote to the role of county supervisor.

     Sarah Power of Monticello is running for county auditor. She works for Diamond Pi and has two small kids.

     “I’m running for Jones County Auditor because I was asked if I would be interested in the position,” she said.

     Power feels the role of auditor should not be politically affiliated.

     “Someone’s political views shouldn’t influence what the auditor does,” she said.

     Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Theresa Greenfield also joined the attendees on the Zoom forum.

     “We’ve been focused on talking to all voters in every county, whether virtually or in-person,” she said. “We’ve done over 250 events around the state so far and we’re going to continue to do them right up through Election Day.”

     Greenfield praised the grassroots volunteers for helping her to win the campaign.

     “This is a race that we can win,” she said.

     Growing up on a farm in rural Iowa, Greenfield said she got into the race to help farmers and “everyday Iowans.”

     She said healthcare will be the number-one issue on the ballot on Nov. 3, and 1.3 million Iowans with pre-existing conditions will lose their healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

     “Today in Iowa, between haphazard trade and reckless tariffs, our net farm income is down 75 percent. The economic decline filters right on down to the Main Streets and manufacturers,” Greenfield shared.


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