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Meet Iowa's Newest Legislators

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Northwest Iowa has a new state legislator representing them at the State Capitol in Des Moines this year.  Chuck Soderberg, who represented Plymouth and part of Woodbury County since 2005, decided to leave office in September after becoming the Executive Director of the Iowa Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives.  In a November 3rd special election, voters in the area picked Dr. Charles Hotz as their new State Representative.

Dr. Charles Holz is from Le Mars and was a veteranarian for 38 years before retiring.  He served on the Le Mars school board for 18 years, including two years spent as the board president.  He is a long-time member of the Le Mars Rotary Club, and is an elder and trustee at Presbyterian United Church of Christ.  He and his wife Patricia have three grown sons. 

"I appreciate the opportunity to serve the people of Northwest Iowa," Holz said after being elected. "I've been here almost 40 years. They're good honest people, and I want to do my best to represent them at the state level." He added that he does not have a specific agenda if elected but added: "I think the financial aspect of the state is going to be a real challenge. I hope I see at least a steady to a slight increase in revenues, but I'm not sure that's going to happen."

Rep. Holz will receive committee assignments soon, but he will not take over as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, a position held by Soderberg.  That powerful position went to Rep. Pat Grassley. 

For people living in this district, it's a great time to reach out to Rep. Holz and introduce yourself and let him know what YOUR priorities are for the state.   Remember, your legislators are sent to Des Moines to represent you, and the only way they can do that is if you want them to do.  You can reach Rep. Holz at: 712-540-1954 or cpholz@frontiernet.net.  Once session begins in January, you can send him emails at chuck.holz@legis.iowa.gov. 

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Tom Moore, a retired teacher and coach from Griswold, became the newest member of the Iowa House of Representatives on December 8.  Moore will represent House District 21 in the Iowa House of Representatives, a district that includes all of Adams and Union counties, most of Cass county, and the eastern part of Pottawattamie county.  He replaces longtime Rep. Jack Drake, who died of natural causes two months ago. 

Tom Moore is a 33-year education veteran, having served 26 years as a teacher and coach in the Griswold School DIstrict, and 7 years in the Grinnelll school district.  He was a high school wrestling official for 38 years and a softball umpire for 26 years.  Moore is currently a Griswold School Board member, but he will need to resign from that position in order to become a State Reprsentative.   "I think it's important that I represent the people of District 21," said Moore prior to the election, "and that's my main concern. I guess my overall theme in this election is 'people over politics.'"

Moore said he will make education a priority, and has said he understands the pressures small school districts face in terms of budgets and regulations. Moore believes smaller districts must consider consolidation because of dollars and cents. However, Moore says the state must address funding issues in terms of special education. "If you talk to schools all around the area," Moore said, "their special education budgets run in the red, year after year after year. And the only way we can do that is by getting more dollars from the state, or by increasing taxes. We're either taxing them here, or the state is taxing them there. I think we need to make if fair for everybody."

When asked recently about Medicaid managed care, Moore said he would consider privatizing Medicaid in Iowa. "I think we've got to do something," he said, "because of the abuses in the Medicare and Medicaid systems. And I think we've got to do something to look at that program, and maintain its health in my generation, your generation, and generations to come. It's an important issue. I think I need to look at that more, to decide exactly where I am on privatization.

For people living in this district, it's a great time to reach out to Rep. Holz and introduce yourself and let him know what YOUR priorities are for the state.   Remember, your legislators are sent to Des Moines to represent you, and the only way they can do that is if you want them to do.  You can reach Rep. Moore at: 712/789-9954 or ctmoore@netins.net.  Once session begins in January, you can send him emails at tom.moore@legis.iowa.gov.

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Former Representatives Drake and Soderberg were both Republicans, and Republicans won both special elections.  That means there will be no change in the Republican-Democrat balance in the House.  Republicans will continue to control the House of Representatives with 57 seats; Democrats have 43 seats.