Candidates for Iowa Senate District 49 seat are both fairly new to politics, have farming experience and express support for extra strength in Iowa’s educational system.
Rita Hart, 56, is a former teacher who now farms near Wheatland, Iowa. This is her first race for public office. Andrew Naeve, 28, is making his second run for the seat, and is a farmer and agricultural businessman from Andover, Iowa.
The newly revamped district includes all of Clinton County, as well as a northeastern section of Scott County.
Both candidates support the current initiative to reform education in the state.
“I do believe the specifics of the plan need further debate,” Hart said, citing the need for alternative measurement tools —beyond standardized tests — in tracking student achievement, continued investments in preschool education, improved ways to evaluate teachers and administrators, and the need to keep college tuition at a cost most Iowans can afford.
Naeve cites his experience with a term on the school board for the East Central School District, a post he was elected to in 2008, and where he served as president in 2010-11. That job was difficult, he said, as merger talks continued with neighboring districts. Last month, residents did approve a merger with the Preston School District, and that consolidation is moving forward.
Naeve stands by the education he received in Iowa and said the state’s teachers should receive “adequate financial resources, be held to world-class standards, have ambitious benchmarks, and use a rigorous curriculum grounded in the fundamentals.”
The candidates differ in their support for Gov. Terry Branstad’s proposal to cut the state’s commercial property tax to improve the business climate in Iowa. Naeve supports the idea, but said local governments should be assured of “sufficient resources” to provide services. Hart opposes “any plan that shifts the burden onto homeowners or farmers, or causes a reduction in necessary county or city services.”
Neither candidate shows much enthusiasm for another of the governor’s proposals — to raise the fuel tax 8 to 10 cents a gallon and use the money to pay for road improvements. Hart wants to keep that tax “as low as possible,” she said, while Naeve is flatly against raising the tax.
The recent move by Iowa to offer $107 million in incentives for a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant in Lee County, Iowa, was appropriate because it will increase jobs in the state, Naeve said. His opponent, Hart, said it would be “inappropriate to armchair quarterback” the decision.
Both Hart and Naeve support Iowans’ rights to bear arms. Hart sees no need to enlarge the state’s gun rights laws, with such as the “stand your ground” law now used in Florida. That was the law that involved the shooting and death of a teenager, Trayvon Martin, by a local neighborhood watch participant. Naeve said he’d need to have more information on “stand your ground” legislation before he decided how to vote on that type of law.
Goes with: Bio Box, which also includes description of new senate district; NEW mugs, loaded into HiRes/Photo/Mugs, and named (HartR.NEW.jpg and NaeveA.NEW.jpg), Map. Online videos: Naeve by Baker and sent in; Hart by Martens and sent in.
(Tripp has the map and copies of the mugs)
Rita R. Hart
Address: 2764 130th Ave., Wheatland, Iowa
Education: Associate degree, North Iowa Area Community College, Mason City; bachelor’s degree, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls; master’s degree, University of Iowa, Iowa City.
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Occupation: Self-employed farmer
Previous elected office or experience: None
Family: Husband, Paul; children, Michaela, 29; Marae, 26; Karen, 24, Tressa, 20 and Alec, 18.
Address: Andover, Iowa.
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Cornell University.
Occupation: Farmer, agricultural businessman
Previous elected office or experience: East Central School Board, also board vice president.
Family: Wife, Kristin, 28.
About the district
The Iowa Senate District 49 encompasses all of Clinton County and the northeastern corner of Scott County, including the towns of LeClaire, McCausland, Park View and Princeton, as well as Clinton, Camanche and DeWitt.
Salary of position: $25,000
Election day: Nov. 6
Polls: Open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Early voting: Began Sept. 27 and is available at area libraries and other public sites and the Scott County Auditor’s Office, 600 W. 4th St., Davenport, or by absentee ballot.
Information: 563-326-VOTE or www.scottcountyiowa.com/auditor/