WAVERLY | Three Waverly Democrats have announced their bid for the Iowa House District 63 seat, seeking to take on second-term Iowa Rep. Sandy Salmon, R-Janesville.
Matthew Glen Evans, 26, a command center monitor at CBE Companies; Teresa Meyer, 57, a registered nurse for occupational health at Tyson; and Eric Stromberg, 42, a substitute teacher at Waverly-Shell Rock and Denver school districts, will be on the primary ballot.
The primary election will be held June 7, and the winner of the contest will face Salmon, who is unopposed in the primary, in the November general election.
Evans and Stromberg are making their first bids for elected office. Meyer previously ran against Salmon for the House District 63 seat in 2014, and currently serves as a Hawkeye Community College Board trustee.
Each made the case they are best-suited to win their party’s nomination but stressed the importance of having a Democrat win the district in November.
Stromberg, a Fort Dodge native, said his top priorities are education and health care, particularly oversight of the Medicaid privatization plan that will go into effect April 1.
“I think that the last four or five years or so, the budget process hasn’t reflected the value that most Iowans, I think, place on education,” Stromberg said. “We’ve seen the lowest funding for the state supplemental budget for education four or five straight years running, and not only that, but every year when it comes up, they’re always wrangling and fighting really hard.”
Stromberg also noted Salmon’s education focus has seemed to be on home-school, which he said handicaps her when it comes to advocating for public schools at the Capitol.
Stromberg said as a substitute teacher he has first-hand insights into the education system, as he visits different districts and school buildings and has an opportunity to meet several teachers and administrators across the region.
On health care, he also has insight as he runs in circles with health care professionals, as his wife Mary Jo is a nurse practitioner.
“It’s just been really, really very confusing and very burdensome for everybody involved. My great fear is it’s going to end up harming our vulnerable populations, the neediest in our community,” Stromberg said of the Medicaid managed care plan. “I think that we’re just going to see all kinds of rightful claims denied.”
Stromberg said he’ll spend the next 11 weeks making the case for himself “one vote at a time” and listening to the voters about their priorities.
Stromberg and his wife Mary Jo have two children, Luke and Anna.
More information about Stromberg’s campaign is at www.strombergforiowa.org.
Meyer, who was born and raised in rural Fairbank, said she is running again because she’s seen the economy get worse for residents of the House district, and across the nation, and she wants to see a government that works for everybody.
“Republicans and Democrats alike feel that the economy is not working, that it only works one way, and all we want is fairness,” Meyer said. “There are people are out there working two and three jobs; they don’t have benefits; and students are living in their car while attending college. In this county.”
She said her priorities are education, health care and jobs.
Like Stromberg, Meyer has concerns about the fact the state has not been properly funding the school system and has been breaking the law by not setting the supplemental state aid, or allowable growth, on time.
She is worried about the Medicaid transition to a managed care system, but she also wants to ensure people have access to health care so they can remain healthy at any age.
Meyer said she supports an increase to the minimum wage.
She said her experience in elected office and as a nurse best qualifies her to be the party’s nominee to take on Salmon in the general election.
“I’m a progressive Democrat, and being a progressive Democrat is just like being a nurse. I identify a problem quickly; I find a solution; and I intercept complications, and I want to achieve positive outcomes,” Meyer said, adding that part of being a nurse and a candidate is also “active listening.”
Meyer is married to husband Randy, and together they have two grown children.
More information about Meyer’s campaign is at www.meyerforiowa.org.
Evans, who grew up in Waverly, said his desire to run for office started with an idea about promoting financial literacy in public schools. When he sought to write his lawmaker, Evans began to learn how few of Salmon’s stances he supported.
“I realized that I simply cannot abide my family being represented by her in state government. Everything she stands for flies in the face of my personal values,” said Evans, who also calls himself a progressive Democrat.
He said his top priorities would be on promoting financial literacy courses in public schools, expanding opportunities for high school students to get dual-credits at their local community college, and improving access to broadband Internet in rural areas. Those tie into an overarching goal of improving the economy in the state and growing job opportunities so youth do not leave the state.
Evans said part of what makes him best suited to hold the House seat is he’s lived those experiences.
“I think that I’m different because I’m not a politician. I’m an everyday Iowan. I go to work 64 hours a week so that I can take care of my family,” said Evans, who also works a part-time job at OneNeck IT Solutions. “I think I have a better and more visceral understanding of the issues because I’m currently experiencing them, and I think that I’ll be better equipped to fight for everyday Iowans in Des Moines because I am one, rather than just understanding them.”
Evans is engaged to Kara Steere, who has a daughter Kloie Merriam, and together Evans and Steere have a son Sam Evans.
More information about Evans’ campaign is at vote.matthewglen.com.
Correction added 3/21/16: The original article included the wrong web address for Matthew Glen Evans' campaign website. It is vote.matthewglen.com.