Didn’t take long for news to force me to update last week’s post on Iowa Senate races to watch in 2014. Today Johnson County Deputy Sheriff Kevin Kinney announced his candidacy in Iowa Senate district 39. After the jump I’ve posted a district map and Kinney’s press release. He is also a corn and soybeans grower and a cattle producer on a century farm. Republican State Senator Sandy Greiner is not seeking re-election in Senate district 39, and the seat should be competitive. The latest numbers from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office indicate that Senate district 39 contains 13,294 registered Democrats, 13,320 Republicans, and 16,452 no-party voters.
Richard Gilmore was the first Democrat to announce in this district in September. I would consider Kinney the favorite to win the nomination, because as John Deeth points out, Democratic primaries in Johnson County have relatively high turnout, and Johnson County has gained more residents than other parts of the district since Iowa’s redistricting plan was adopted in 2011. Gilmore is from Washington County.
FEBRUARY UPDATE: Kinney’s campaign is on the web here.
January 6 press release:
Deputy sheriff and farmer Kevin Kinney throws hat in the ring for Senate District 39
OXFORD – Johnson County Deputy Sheriff and family farmer Kevin Kinney, 50, announced he’s running for the Iowa Senate in District 39. District 39 includes all of Keokuk County; most of Washington County; and portions of western and southern Johnson County, including the communities of Swisher, Shueyville, Oxford, North Liberty, Tiffin, Frytown, and Lone Tree.
“I’m running for the State Senate because I believe in serving the community,” said Kinney. “My experiences during the farm crisis of the eighties and investigating crimes for the sheriff’s office have served as stark reminders of what happens in economic downturns: families get hurt and people get desperate. A supportive community can do wonders.”
Kinney said the focus of his campaign for State Senate will be to strengthen Iowa communities by helping workers get the skills they need to succeed, helping Main Street businesses grow and thrive, and create new opportunities for Iowa students.
“Iowa’s elected officials – Republicans and Democrats — need to be working harder on creating those jobs we need, boosting education standards for our kids and establishing a fair property tax system for homeowners, farmers and small businesses. That’s what I want to work on as the next Senator from District 39,” Kinney said.
Kinney, a Democrat, is active in his community. He’s a Farm Bureau Member, he belongs to the Johnson County Cattlemen’s Association and he’s a member of the Knights of Columbus. Kinney is also serving his third term on the Clear Creek Amana School Board.
Kinney has been with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office for 27 years. He currently serves as a Lieutenant in their Investigation Division. Kinney has received several awards, including the Crime Victims Service Award for his investigation into a human trafficking ring, which led to one of the first federal prosecutions of human trafficking in the United States in 2006.
In addition to his career in law enforcement, Kinney raises cattle and grows corn and soybeans on his family’s Century Farm near Oxford. Kinney graduated from Clear Creek High School in 1981 and attended Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.
Kinney and his wife Deb have been married for 28 years. They have two adult children, Shaun, 26, who lives in North Liberty, and Megan, 23, a student at Aurora University in Illinois. The Kinneys are members of St. Peters Catholic Church in Cosgrove.
Kinney added: “I’m going get to work contacting as many people in Senate District 39 as possible. I want to hear the concerns directly from the people here. And I’ll meet them in their community halls or on their front porches. Anyone can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (319) 631-4667.”