Today Tom Rubel became the second Democrat to enter the race in Iowa Senate district 41, a strong pickup opportunity in 2014. First-term Republican State Senator Mark Chelgren currently represents the district, covering the population centers of Wapello and Jefferson counties, plus all of Davis and Van Buren counties. I’ve posted a map after the jump. According to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office, Senate district 41 contained 15,169 registered Democrats, 11,558 Republicans, and 13,698 no-party voters as of October 2013.
Rubel is a former superintendent of the Ottumwa Community School District and is now executive dean of Regional Economic Advancement at Indian Hills Community College. More background is in his campaign announcement, which I’ve also posted below. He is the second Wapello County-based Democrat to enter this race. Wapello County Supervisor Steve Siegel kicked off his campaign in September. Ed Malloy, the mayor of Fairfield in Jefferson County, is considering this race too. Presumably Malloy would have a better chance in a primary against two people splitting the Ottumwa vote.
Any relevant comments are welcome in this thread.
Iowa Senate Democrats press release:
Indian Hills Executive Dean Tom Rubel
to run for Iowa Senate
OTTUMWA – Tom Rubel, a Democrat, announced plans today to run for the Iowa Senate in newly created District 41. Rubel currently serves as Executive Dean of Regional Economic Advancement at Indian Hills Community College.
Senate District 41 covers all of Davis and Van Buren Counties; part of Wapello County, including the towns of Ottumwa, Agency, and Eldon; and part of Jefferson County, including the towns of Batavia, Fairfield, Libertyville, Maharishi Vedic City, Packwood, and Pleasant Plain.
“I am running because I am passionate about making a difference for the citizens of Senate District 41,” Rubel said. “Education and economic development are the keys to expanding the opportunities for the students, workers, and families in Southern Iowa. My background as an educational leader and administrator gives me the experience to be an effective State Senator.”
“We are facing and meeting significant economic challenges in Southern Iowa,” Rubel said. “My experience working with our local economic developers has taught me that while it is important to continue to try and recruit businesses to our area, it is even more important to grow our own. This means supporting existing businesses and assisting new entrepreneurs.”
“We currently have a lot of positive momentum being generated by initiatives at the local level. I want to continue providing support for these initiatives as your State Senator. I want to make sure that Southern Iowans get the same amount of consideration as citizens in metro areas.”
Rubel previously served as Superintendent of the Ottumwa Community School District, as well as superintendent, principal, teacher, and coach in other school districts in Iowa. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Ottumwa Area Economic Development Corporation, Ottumwa Legacy Foundation Leadership Advisory, and previously served on the board of directors for United Way of Wapello County.
He is a graduate of North Iowa Community College, Yankton College, and Northwest Missouri State University.
Rubel and his wife, Pam, have five grown children and 6 grandchildren.
In closing, Rubel stated, “Like most Iowans, I’m tired of the `us` versus `them` political mentality. I believe in people working together towards a common goal. I would carry this belief into this role as a Senator.”
“I encourage all citizens to contact me with any concerns or ideas you may have. You can reach me at 319-530-3180 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”