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I love working hard for North Iowans.

For me, public service is about making a positive difference in people’s lives. Whether I’m serving people at the Community Kitchen of North Iowa or at the Iowa Capitol as your State Senator, my goal is the same – to give Iowans an opportunity to succeed in life.

I grew up on a farm in North Iowa. There, I learned the values of hard work, using common sense, being honest, and taking care of your neighbors. As a senator, I carry those values with me to Des Moines.

It is an honor to serve you in the Iowa Legislature. I’m proud to be a legislator who can work with everyone. I am proud of the bipartisan solutions we have crafted to improve the lives of the people I represent. I’m also proud of my voting record.

That is why it is so deeply disappointing that my opponent has chosen to sit back in silence and allow the Republican Party of Iowa to produce a series of dishonest and disparaging attacks against me.

These deceitful ads are arriving in the mailboxes of the people I care about serving in my district. The Iowa Republican Party claims I am not the same person when I vote, that I am back home. That is simply not true.

You, the people of my district, know me. You know me and my values, which have not changed, ever.

I am proud to stand by the votes I’ve taken to support our schools. I’m proud of my work fighting to ensure that all Iowans have access to quality, affordable  health care. I am gratified we can maintain a dialogue about what is best for our state and work through hard choices together.

When I was first elected to the Iowa Senate, it was a very different place than it is today. America was just a year removed from the terrorist attacks of 9-11, and a spirit of unity and coming together dominated our culture and our politics.

Over the last 16 years, our nation’s politics have become more polarized, divisive, and partisan in ways that threaten our ability to get things done for families across our state. The way to move our state and country forward is to move beyond the partisan and dishonest noise that comes from Des Moines each campaign season. I truly believe it is important to tell the truth about who the candidates are and what we stand for in Iowa.

As this year’s campaign heats up, I am confident Senate Republicans and their party will have more dishonest things to say about me. I ask that you reach out to me if you see something that doesn’t square with what you know about me and my principles.

I will be happy to explain my votes and positions. We may not agree on everything, but I do believe that by listening to each other, we can maintain honesty and a solution-oriented approach to the issues facing our state. Today’s political climate desperately needs civility, honesty, and transparency, for which I have always worked tirelessly.

Amanda Ragan, a Democrat, is in fourth term as senator for Iowa Senate District 27, which covers Cerro Gordo, Franklin and Butler counties.

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