116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Republican State Rep. Thomas Gerhold, who currently serves Iowa House District 75, is facing Democratic newcomer and teacher Sara Yedlik in a race for House District 84 during the Nov. 8 election.
House District 84 was created during the 2021 redistricting process and includes most of Benton County, including Vinton, and several townships in northwestern and southwestern Linn County. As of September, its pool of active voters was made up of 7,498 Republicans, 5,202 Democrats and 7,403 voters without party affiliations.
Occupation: Research associate
Former political offices: Currently serving House District 75
Nearing the end of his second term as state representative for House District 75, Gerhold is now seeking re-election. He did not respond to a Gazette survey seeking responses about his policy beliefs, nor did he reply to emails or calls from The Gazette.
Gerhold voted to eliminate taxes on inheritances, he said in a guest column he recently submitted to The Gazette. He also wrote that he would work to “lessen the sting” of property tax rate increases, attract more mental health care workers and help parents “have more of a voice” with their children’s education.
Among the bills and resolutions that Gerhold has sponsored and supported in the Legislature are ones that would:
- Prohibit discrimination against a person’s political beliefs or immunization status, excluding qualifications by religious institutions.
- Require pipeline companies seeking eminent domain usage to get approval from landowners who own 90 percent of the impacted land.
- Create a Second Amendment Preservation Act.
- Remove gender identity as a protected class under the Iowa Civil Rights Act.
- Require high school students who participate in extracurricular athletic activities to compete based on biological sex as determined at birth.
- Propose an amendment to the state constitution specifying that the constitution doesn’t secure or protect the right to an abortion or require funding of abortions.
Former political offices: None
After eight years on the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, Yedlik said she is prepared for bipartisan collaboration in support of rural Iowans.
Her top priorities include supporting the well-being of children and families, protecting jobs and schools in rural communities and resisting the loss of local government control.
Yedlik called the current budget surplus “excessive” and supports forming a bipartisan study committee to make recommendations for the funds.
“We must remember that the $1 billion the state has, came from citizens to do the work of the government,” she said. “A large surplus is just as irresponsible as one that is too small.”
As an educator, Yedlik endorses programs that recruit and retain teachers. She also supports boosting mental health systems and supplemental aid for schools. She doesn’t endorse legislation that uses state funds to help pay the costs of non-public schools.
“These educational funds would be siphoned away from our public schools,” she said. “Our schools would be forced to cut programming, increase class size, consolidate or possibly close.”
As the daughter of an Iowan farmer, Yedlik said she has witnessed intense weather events and its impacts. She supports policies that minimize the effects of climate change and promote recycling, improved fuel efficiency and renewable fuels and energy.
She does not support applying eminent domain for CO2 pipelines, saying its use on private property should be restricted.
She said she supports bans against using mobile phones while driving, and she thinks automated traffic cameras can improve public safety when used for valid reasons.
She doesn’t endorse political interventions to abortion access. She supports policies that protect transgender individuals against discrimination.
Brittney J. Miller is an environmental reporter for The Gazette and a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues.
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