Linn supervisor Walker won't run in 1st District

'There is more work to do in Linn County'

Stacey Walker speaks at a meeting of the Linn County Supervisors in the Jean Oxley Public Service Center in Cedar Rapids on Monday, May 22, 2017. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Stacey Walker speaks at a meeting of the Linn County Supervisors in the Jean Oxley Public Service Center in Cedar Rapids on Monday, May 22, 2017. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — First-term Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker has ended speculation about a possible bid for the Democratic nomination in Iowa’s U.S. House 1st District.

Walker announced Monday he will not seek the nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Rod Blum.

“My best and highest use as a public servant at this moment is to continue to serve the people of my home county,” Walker, 29, said in a statement. In reaching his decision, “the most important consideration was the recognition that there is more work to do in Linn County.”

In November 2016, Walker became the first African American to be elected to the Linn County Board, winning his race by nearly a three-to-one margin.

As a supervisor, Walker has worked to raise the minimum wage, commit Linn County to the Paris Climate Agreement, secure funding for small businesses affected by the 2016 flood and implement the recommendations of the Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities Task Force.

“We should all be proud of this work,” he said.

He thanked those who have encouraged him to join the field of four Democrats already seeking the nomination.

George Ramsey of Marion, Thomas Heckroth of Cedar Falls, Courtney Rowe of Cedar Rapids and State Rep. Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque have formally announced their candidacies.

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There is speculation among Democrats the field for the June 2018 primary election is not yet set. Walker’s fellow Linn County Board member Brent Oleson also had been considering the race, but has endorsed Heckroth. Sen. Jeff Danielson of Waterloo has formed an exploratory committee and is “doing the homework necessary to make a final decision.”

The 20-county 1st District includes Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Marshalltown.

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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