RANDALIA -- A Northeast Iowa farmer and father of three announced he would campaign for a seat in the Iowa House of Representatives.
Chad Ingels, 51, of Randalia, announced Tuesday he would be running for the Republican nomination in Iowa House District 64, which covers most of Buchanan County and the southern half of Fayette County.
The seat is currently held by Bruce Bearinger, a Democrat who was first elected to the seat in 2012. Bearinger ran unopposed for the seat in the last election in 2018. The district has been held by a Democrat since 2002.
"Now just seems like the right time," Ingels told The Courier. "I am running because I can offer some unique perspectives."
He said his big priorities are water quality improvement efforts, pre-K-12 education and the state's handling of Medicaid.
"My wife and I have two children who have Down syndrome who are served by Medicaid," he said. "I believe my experience as a parent can be beneficial to making it even better in the future."
In a release Tuesday, Ingels noted his bachelor's and master's degrees in agriculture from Iowa State University, as well as his work as a watershed specialist with Iowa State University Extension from 1999 to 2016. He also founded ClearWater Ag Strategies, a company that helps farmers comply with manure management regulations.
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Ingels was on the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission from 2013 to 2018, the last two years as its chairman. In 2018, he ran for Iowa secretary of agriculture, losing to Mike Naig in the primary.
During his run for ag secretary, Ingels said the state's "current, voluntary approach" to improving water quality "is the right one," rather than more regulation. He expanded on that in Tuesday's release.
"Northeast Iowa farmers have demonstrated that they can work together to create community water quality improvement projects, and then cost-effectively do things on their own farms that get results," Ingels said in the release.
Ingels has served on the West Central Community School Board since 1997, serving as its president since 2011. He noted the school board "worked to kick-start post-secondary school opportunities for every student," noting that the district's charter high school graduates a third of its high school seniors with their high school diploma and an associate's degree.
"In the Legislature, I will work to increase flexibility for local districts to innovate for the benefit of every student and family, seek ways to reduce the red tape that school administrators and teachers deal with on a daily basis, and protect taxpayers by always considering the impacts on family, school and state budgets," Ingels said in the release.
Ingels was past president of the Fayette County Farm Bureau from 2008 to 2010, and noted in his release he raises corn, soybeans and hogs on the Randalia farm with his wife, Tammy, a teacher. His Twitter bio noted he has two adult children and a young son, and he also coaches youth sports in Maynard and Oelwein and is a lector and usher at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Fayette, he said in the release.