We have a new candidate in Iowa House district 7

John Wittneben, a small business owner and member of the Estherville City Council, announced today that he is running as a Democrat in Iowa House district 7, where seven-term Democratic State Representative Marcella Frevert is retiring. The north-central Iowa district includes all of Emmet and Palo Alto Counties and Kossuth County north of Algona (map here). From Wittneben's press release:

"As a small business owner, my top priority will be to help businesses across Iowa expand and create good-paying jobs.  We need a strong education system and world-class community colleges to make sure we have a skilled workforce that can compete for jobs in the 21st Century economy," said Wittneben, who is former president of the Estherville Chamber of Commerce. "Through the wind energy program at Iowa Lakes Community College, I'm proud our community is training students to support Iowa's renewable energy industry."

Wittneben owns his own land surveying company and has previously worked for Jacobsen-Westergard & Associates in Estherville.  He serves on the Estherville City Council and was the Estherville Chamber Citizen of the Year in 2007.  He is a member of the Estherville Rotary, Friends of Fort Defiance, and the Good Samaritan Citizen Advisory Board.

"After growing up in Estherville and working across the country, I know there is no better place to live and operate my business than in Estherville.  I care deeply about our state and community and that's why I want to be State Representative," added Wittneben.  "My top priority at the Statehouse will be to listen to the people of District 7 and work across party lines to make our community a better place to live." Wittneben grew up in Estherville and received his AA in pre-engineering from Iowa Lakes Community College. He also attended Iowa State University.

"I've balanced the books in my own business and I will make sure we keep the state's fiscal house in order. We must balance the budget without raising taxes, create jobs, and keep our k-12 education system strong," concluded Wittneben.

He sounds like a strong candidate to hold this district in the Democratic column. He's already won elected office in Estherville, the largest town in the district with a population of around 6,300. Frevert was from Emmetsburg, which has about 3,600 residents. She did not have a Republican opponent in the 2006 mid-term election. In 2008 she received 58.5 percent of the vote against Republican Debra Satern.

I don't know who is running for the Republicans in Iowa House district 7, but I will update this post when I learn more.

UPDATE: Thanks to Bleeding Heartland user hawkeye77 for more information in the comments. The GOP candidate is West Bend-Mallard School Board member Lannie Miller, who served three terms as a county supervisor in Palo Alto and has chaired the county's Republican Party.

  • House District 7

    I don't know a lot about Wittneben other then he won his first term on the Estherville city council in 2009 after being appointed to the seat.

    Lannie Miller has filed for the seat as the Republican candidate he is currently on the West Bend-Mallard School Board.  He has served as chairman of the Palo Alto County Republican Party and was a County Supervisor from 1995-2007.  He beat a longtime Democratic incumbent in 1994 and was reelected in 1998 and 2002 to the southeastern supervisor district in Palo Alto County.  He didn't seek reelection in 2006.  

    Although historically Democratic and voting for Obama in 2008, Palo Alto County has a 4-1 Republican majority on the Board of Supervisors.  All other countywide offices are held by Democrats with the exception of Auditor.  It went for Bush in 2004.

    Although Palo Alto has not been the most populous County in the district in this current configuration (since 2002) with Emmet and parts of Kossuth or the former configuration with Clay (1992-2002) the representative has come from Palo Alto County since 1982 (Fogarty-D 1983-1995, Salton-R 1995-1997, Frevert-D since 1997).  The State Senator for six terms (Jack Kibbie-D) is also from Palo Alto despite having more populous counties in the district.

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