I began my career in public service as a deputy sheriff because of the Farm Crisis. I didn’t expect to stay long, but I liked the job, and two years of service became almost 30. I also didn’t expect to become involved in politics, but that changed when I investigated the first human trafficking case in U.S. history. At the time, Iowa had no human trafficking laws, so deputies like myself received no special training. My partner and I initially worked the case as a kidnapping. It was all we knew.
After that I began lobbying our government for change. After lobbying our Legislature we were able to get a law passed defining and criminalizing human trafficking. I was able to train other officers, and begin efforts to educate the public about trafficking in our state. I was elected to my local school board three times. But in these roles I could only accomplish so much. So when District 39 opened up in 2014 I decided to continue my public service in the Iowa Senate.
I entered the political arena because there were problems I saw that needed common-sense solutions, and needed them now. I have taken that philosophy to my time in the Senate, working across party lines to get problems solved on a range of issues.
In my first term I’ve paved the way for industrial hemp production, created an Iowa Office of Human Trafficking, and lengthened the criminal statute of limitations for human trafficking and sexual assault. In my second term I hope to finalize industrial hemp legalization, lengthen the civil statute of limitations for sexual assault, and fully fund our schools.
I’ve spent my whole life in District 39, and I’ve spent my adult life serving the people of this district in one capacity or another. I brought my experience getting things done as a farmer to public service, first as a sheriff’s deputy, then as a victims’ advocate, then as a school board member, and now as a State Senator. In my various roles my door has always been open to my constituents, and truly my greatest joy in any of these roles has been getting to know people and helping them get their problems solved.
I hope that I earn your support for re-election, it would be an honor to serve our district for another four years.
• Kevin Kinney is the Democratic candidate in Iowa Senate District 39
• Heather Hora, Republican, provided no column