Candidate column: Ken Rizer

Service before self is what caused me to raise my right hand and swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. After 25 years as an Air Force fighter pilot, combat veteran, and commander, I hung up the sacred cloth of our nation and brought that commitment to service home to Iowa.

I believe we’re defined by what we do for others, which is why I continued a life of service employing people with disabilities and homeless veterans for an Eastern Iowa non-profit. It is that commitment to serving others, to using the leadership skills I learned in the military and non-profit world, which has led me to run again for the Iowa House.

In my short time in the House, I’ve accomplished much for my constituents. I voted to increase K-12 spending by $275 million, because our kids are our future. I led the effort to transfer $500 million of unregulated tax incentives to the Tax Review Committee, because the people deserve appropriate oversight of how their money is spent. I authored a Constitutional amendment to protect electronic communications and data from warrantless searches, because government shouldn’t trample on individual privacy and liberty. Finally, I authored and the Governor signed into law the largest justice reform in a decade, giving non-violent drug offenders reduced sentences, imposing mandatory sentences for child killers, and creating a new crime of Robbery Three.

Much more remains to be done. With my leadership experience and ability to work across party lines, I look forward to being a catalyst for water quality reform, oversight of managed care, and income tax reform. I will be a champion of the state living within its means, just as Iowa families do. I will author legislation protecting law enforcement from being targeted; they have our backs, we need to have theirs. I will continue the battle to rid our streets of dangerous synthetic drugs and will lead the effort to protect sexual assault victims by decreasing rape kit processing time from a year to 3 months. Finally, I will lead an effort to create a statewide epilepsy genetic research program with the University of Iowa, making medical marijuana legally accessible to those with intractable epilepsy.

It’s an honor to serve the great people of Marion, Bertram, Ely and the surrounding parts of Linn County. I humbly ask for the opportunity to continue working on your behalf!

• More information:; (319) 651-7316;



Many Christian conservatives have complained about our nation's public schools for more than 50 years. The removal of state-sponsored prayers and devotional Bible readings, and the teaching of scientifically based, comprehensive s ...

As Iowans in the 1st District received their paychecks in February, most received a welcome tax cut. From Cedar Rapids to Dubuque, and from Decorah to Grinnell, hardworking Iowans are keeping more of the money they earn. The Tax C ...

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.

Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.