I am running for Iowa Senate to continue to serve my community and because I think state government can work better for all Iowans. I believe Iowans value service, both to their communities and their nation. I have served in the U.S. Navy and Iowa National Guard for 26 years as a helicopter pilot, infantry officer and JAG officer.
I have also been fortunate enough to work with several communities in leadership capacities in District 48. I was the city attorney for Palo during the devastating floods in 2008, and I served as city attorney, on the city council, and as mayor of Mount Vernon, my hometown. In those capacities, I never asked people if they were Democrats or Republicans, and no one asked me. We just worked together to get things done.
One of my priorities as mayor was to facilitate conversations with the community by holding town hall meetings once a month. I think it was clear to anyone who attended that these were not politically convenient or advantageous for me. But leadership isn’t about convenience or advantage.
That’s why I have been so disappointed in Sen. Zumbach and in part why I decided to run. Not because I disagree with him, though I do on many issues. I’m disappointed in Sen. Zumbach because when I was mayor, I did not hear from him once. As far as I know, he never contacted the City and held only one public forum in Mount Vernon or Lisbon in four years. And as of when I submitted this column, he has not agreed to one debate or public forum with either myself or the Libertarian candidate in the race, including a mental health forum in Anamosa, a Chamber of Commerce forum in Dyersville and the League of Women Voters debate in Central City.
Instead of giving voters the chance to ask questions or raise concerns, Sen. Zumbach is hiding behind misleading attack mailers and refusing to debate in public. That’s not leadership. And that’s not respecting the voters and citizens of Iowa’s 48th District.
If elected, I pledge to the constituents of the 48th District that I will do everything I can to be accessible and most importantly to keep an open mind and be respectful of all views even if they differ from my own. Because that’s the only way we can work together to get things done.
• More information: www.petersonforsenate.com