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Candidate column: Dick Whitehead

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Dick Whitehead, guest columnist

I am running for the Iowa House in District 95. My decision to run is tied to my 41 years in education as a teacher, coach, principal, and superintendent at Center Point-Urbana and later at College Community. I learned to solve problems by bringing people together to find common ground and new ideas.

When Center Point-Urbana schools were struggling, I brought together teachers, parents, and community members to find a new direction. We worked to expand preschool and child care. We wanted to make CPU the most family-friendly district in the state. Enrollment grew, and we were able to provide even more options.

In good times and bad, I helped school boards find a balanced and sustainable budget path to move the district forward. Iowa is required by law to balance its budget. I will use my experience to find compromise, hold government accountable, and bring progress to Iowa.

I grew up helping my dad on my grandparents’ farm. At the end of the day, he’d talk about the progress we’d made. Yet, there would always be more to do. I learned a lot about hard work and perseverance. My wife and I have three grown children and 10 grandchildren. We have tried to pass on those same values, as well as the value of a good education.

For the past six years, we have seen a pattern of underfunding public education. Iowa has now slipped to 35th among states in per pupil spending. Sadly, this neglect is taking its toll on our local schools. We must make education a priority again. I will work to ensure students have the education and technology they need to succeed. We must hire great teachers, reduce class sizes, protect early childhood education and expand vocational programs.

It is time to end the gridlock and find common ground to make a difference on issues that matter to Iowa families. My oldest son is a Marine veteran, so I know there is more we can do to honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans. We must also protect our natural resources and improve water quality. We should give our agriculture economy a boost by expanding Iowa-grown fuels. We must encourage new investments and good paying jobs.

My career was spent finding solutions and making a difference. I am asking for your vote. I want to make a difference for Iowa!

• More information: (319) 350-7211; dicktwhitehead@gmail.com; www.whiteheadforhouse.com; Facebook: RIchardWhiteheadForIowaHouse

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