Tom Sauser, a retired middle school teacher and New Hampton High School coach, declared his candidacy yesterday in Iowa House district 52. A special election to replace Democratic State Representative Brian Quirk will take place in early 2013. Bleeding Heartland posted a district map and voter registration numbers here.
After the jump I've posted Sauser's campaign announcement, which includes a short bio. He was Quirk's high school football coach. A lot of Iowa House members are current or retired teachers. They can be good candidates, because hundreds or thousands of potential constituents are former students or relatives of students.
I'll be interested to see whether any Democrat from Floyd County seeks the nomination in this race. Both parties will hold choose candidates for House district 52 in special district nominating conventions.
UPDATE: Quirk confirms that he recruited Sauser, and Craig Clark of Floyd County says he will run in the special election, probably as an independent. Clark received about 29 percent of the vote as an independent candidate against Quirk this year. No Republican ran for the seat.
SECOND UPDATE: Governor Terry Branstad set the special election for Tuesday, January 22. That's the week after the 2013 legislative session begins.
Iowa House Democrats press release, November 29:
Sauser to Run for State Representative
Retired teacher and coach Tom Sauser of Chickasaw County announced today that he will run for state representative in the special election for House District 52. The special election will be held after Rep. Brian Quirk resigned from office yesterday. The district covers all of Chickasaw and Floyd Counties as well as the eastern portion of Cerro Gordo County.
"As an educator for 38 years, I've spent decades in the classroom and on the sidelines encouraging our kids to fulfill their potential and be responsible citizens. I'm excited about the opportunity to serve this district at the Statehouse," said Sauser, who taught middle school and coached the New Hampton High School football team as well several other sports. "I've worked with students, parents, and educators to improve education and make sure our kids graduate with the skills needed to succeed in an ever-changing world and I'm ready to bring that experience with me to the Iowa House."
"While it was a difficult decision for me to resign, I couldn't be more pleased to have Coach Sauser, my high school football coach, run to replace me in the Iowa House," said Rep. Quirk, who endorsed Sauser today. "I know he will bring our values with him to Des Moines and serve us well."
Sauser, a Democrat, is a member of the New Hampton Lions Club, where he has served as President, and was a member of the New Hampton Education Association. He grew up in Winneshiek County where he worked at the family-owned hardware store growing up and has lived in Chickasaw County for nearly 40 years after graduating from Upper Iowa University.
"I'll listen to the people of my district, put politics aside, and work together to find compromise to grow our local economy and strengthen the middle class," added Sauser. "I'm excited to meet the people of District 52 and hear their ideas about our future."
He and his wife, Barbara, have been married for 36 years and they have two grown children, Drew and Derek, who were both raised in New Hampton. They attend Harvest Church in New Hampton and have been active in the church.