Deidre DeJear wants people across the country to once again consider Iowa the best place in the country to go to school.
“We know that education is not a partisan issue,” the Democratic gubernatorial candidate said during a Saturday visit to Fort Dodge. “I want to fight to get back to the top. We need leadership that believes we can do better.
Speaking to about 40 people in Oleson Park, DeJear outlined his plans to improve education. They understand:
• Increase basic assistance to public schools.
• Expand access to pre-school education so that children aged 3 and 4 can go to school 30 hours a week.
• Adding training in health trades and professions to high schools, a move she says will help new graduates get jobs and fill critical gaps in the state’s workforce.
DeJear said she would be willing to withdraw money from the state’s $1.5 billion savings account, sometimes called the Rainy Day Fund, to meet her education goals.
“We need a nest egg, but it’s more than a nest egg”, she says.
DeJear takes on Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds in the November general election.
“There is a solid path for all of us to succeed in this race,” DeJear said.
The key, she said, is for Democrats “Let’s be the best of ourselves” while inviting independents to the Democratic Party.
DeJear was one of five Democratic candidates to speak at the event on Saturday.
Ryan Melton, of Nevada, will face U.S. Representative Randy Feenstra, R-Hull, in the Fourth Congressional District.
Melton said protecting voters’ rights will be one of his top priorities.
“We need to penalize politicians who spread misinformation that threatens our elections,” he said.
He said he also wanted to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour from a “ladder approach” which would gradually increase it.
John Norwood, the candidate for secretary of agriculture, said the Iowans must “think systematically” on water quality and soil loss issues.
He said that each year, Iowa loses 10 times more topsoil than is produced by natural processes.
He added that 1 billion pounds of nitrates enter Iowa’s rivers and streams.
Norwood will face incumbent Republican Mike Naig in November.
Webster County Supervisor Niki Conrad, who represents District 4, said she was very proud of the work the Board of Supervisors has done on things like restoring the courthouse clock tower, drainage district improvements and mass vaccination clinics for COVID. She said she wanted to carry on “to advance Webster County in these ways.”
She will face Republican Reggie Simmons in November.
Tommy Coleman will face Republican Austin Hayek in November as they try to replace Webster County Supervisor Keith Dencklau in District 1.
Coleman said Saturday he hasn’t heard many complaints and added he thinks the current board is doing a good job.