116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Three candidates are on the Nov. 8 ballot for the Iowa Senate in District 42, which covers much of rural Linn and Benton counties.
Charlie McClintock won the Republican primary in June, beating out Colman Silbernagel by two votes after a recount. McClintock will be facing Democratic nominee Jessica Wiskus and Bruce Gardner, who is running as a no-party candidate.
Gardner originally registered as a Democrat but withdrew before the primaries, leaving Wiskus as the only Democrat in the race. After the primaries, Gardner decided to register as a no-party candidate.
As of September 2022, the voter breakdown in Iowa Senate District 42 includes:
- 12,101 active Democratic voters
- 14,911 active Republican voters
- 14,541 active no party voters
- 314 other active voters
- 1,417 inactive Democratic voters
- 1,176 inactive Republican voters
- 3,113 inactive no party voters
- 73 other inactive voters
Gardner, 72, of Garrison, has never run for office before but felt like the district needs someone with his experience working in rural Iowa, he said.
Gardner said some of the concerns that he wants to address if elected include ensuring there is clean water throughout Iowa, finding opportunities to increase clean energy uses in the state and investing more money in rural communities.
Gardner also said he’d like to see improvements made in education. Rather than support bills like the one proposed earlier this year that would allow public school funds to be used to send some children to private schools, Gardner said he’d like to focus on improving the public school system so children don’t need to go to private schools for a good education.
“Why are we using public tax funds to support private education systems? Are they better than our current public education? If so, why have we not improved our public education system so there would be no need to offer public tax dollars to support private education? This sounds like a payoff for political support,” he said.
Town of residence: Garrison
Occupation: Managing member of an economic development third-party administrator group
Previous offices held: None
McClintock, 52, of Alburnett, is the only candidate in this race with previous experience in politics. He was elected to the Iowa House in District 95 in 2020 and currently serves in that position.
McClintock declined to be interviewed for this article. He told The Gazette previously that his priorities include keeping inflation low and incentivizing and increasing housing and child care infrastructure in the state.
Abortion is also a big issue for McClintock and he has previously supported legislation to limit abortion rights in Iowa. Both Wiskus and Gardner said they would vote differently from McClintock on abortion rights.
McClintock voted against the school voucher bill that was proposed earlier this year — and remains a priority for Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds — but has told The Gazette that his future stance on similar bills would be determined by his constituents.
Town of residence: Alburnett
Occupation: Public safety dispatch manager for the Cedar Rapids Police Department
Previous offices held: Representative in the Iowa House, District 95, 2020 to present.
Wiskus, 46, of Lisbon, said the main factor that motivated her to run for Iowa Senate was the proposed CO2 pipelines that would run through rural Iowa.
Wiskus is a university researcher by trade, and she said she’s been working with neighbors in rural Iowa to research and learn more about the pipelines and the potential use of eminent domain, if allowed by the Iowa Utilities Board, to install them on private land.
“The more I uncovered, the more concerned I became about the safety implications and potential abuse of eminent domain,” Wiskus said.
Another issue that Wiskus hopes to address if she is elected is the proposed school voucher program, which she opposes.
She said she believes the voucher program and the eminent domain discussion, as well as other recent issues like abortion, are examples of how the Iowa Legislature is too partisan, and she would rather search for common ground to represent all Iowans.
Town of residence: Lisbon
Occupation: Academic researcher in music
Previous offices held: None
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