The Iowa House District 7 on Nov. 4 race will pit a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and police officer against Republican one-term incumbent, Tedd Gassman of Scarville.
Democrat David Grussing, 59, of Armstrong, who spent 21 years with the Stillwater (Oklahoma) Police Department, and is also a 28-year of the U.S. Army, intends "to be a new voice for rural Iowa," he said.
Gassman, 71, said he believes "in freedom and liberty and having each individual reach their highest potential."
Each candidate said they believe in more funding for roads and bridges but disagree on the mechanism. Grussing supports an increase in the gasoline tax, "one of the few taxes constitutionally protected where the revenue actually goes toward transportation costs."
"Safe roads and bridges are more than just a safety issue, they are an economic development necessity," Grussing added.
Gassman also wants more funding for roads and bridges, but "I can't see any way I would raise income or sales tax or other such taxes," he said.
"We passed the largest tax decrease in the history of this state," he said.
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Sales and property tax incentives for potential small business merchants would help spur jobs and small town growth and would be Grussing's first priority in office.
Gassman said his first priority would be to approve a supplemental state aid bill for K-12 education, and to get the state budget in order.
Gassman says he is "pro-life, I believe in the traditional family and an education is the great equalizer. I will support education at all levels."
Grussing says he stands in "stark contrast" with Gassman. Creating opportunities for rural jobs, investing in rural infrastructure, renewable energy and advanced manufacturing make up his primary focus, he said.
"I also want to fully fund primary education and support our community colleges; I will work to encourage military veterans and retirees to locate in Iowa and fully support the minimum wage. If we think small towns are worth saving, we have to work to make sure they have the tools necessary to survive," Grussing said.
House District 7 includes portions of Kossuth, Winnebago and Emmett counties, including the cities of Algona, Armstrong, Buffalo Center, Estherville, Forest City, Lake Mills, Ringsted, Swea City and Thompson.