# Matt Pries

They’re not coming for our kids, Governor

Gerald Ott of Ankeny was a high school English teacher and for 30 years a school improvement consultant for the Iowa State Education Association.

Michael Stahr of Boone recently asked in a letter to the Des Moines Register, “Why won’t teachers cooperate with parents?” Aside from assuming facts not in evidence, his question is worthy of comment.

Stahr was responding to a guest column by public school educator Matt Pries, entitled “Educators should be in schools’ driver’s seat.” Stahr counters with, “A teaching certificate doesn’t mean that kids are the teacher’s. Nor are they the community’s. They are the parent’s.”

Stahr is not alone in harboring the “who owns kids” nonsense. The best answer is that a child belongs to him/herself or their selves. Parents are their kid’s first teachers, but youngsters get guidance along the way from friends and every other person they meet, especially teachers.

Unfortunately, Governor Kim Reynolds used the scary phrase “They’re coming for our kids” in her speech to Moms for Liberty last February. She wasn’t referring to the yellow buses that pick up kids each morning.

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Fourteen Iowa Senate races to watch on election night 2022

Editor’s note: This analysis has been updated with unofficial results from all the races. Original post follows.

The major parties have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the most competitive 2022 Iowa House and Senate races.

This post highlights seven state Senate districts where one or both parties have spent large sums, and another seven where even without a big investment by Democrats or Republicans, the results could shed light on political trends.

All voter registration totals listed below come from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office, as reported on November 1. All absentee ballot figures come from the Secretary of State’s office, as reported on November 7. All past election results come from the map Josh Hughes created in Dave’s Redistricting App.

All figures for in-kind spending by the Iowa Democratic Party or Republican Party of Iowa come from filings with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board. I focus on in-kind spending, because candidates in battleground Iowa legislative races typically give most of their funds to the state party. The party then covers the bulk of the large expenditures for direct mail and/or television, radio, and digital advertising.

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Top Iowa Senate Republican afraid to run in swing district

Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver announced on November 29 that he will seek re-election in 2022, but not in the Ankeny-based district he has represented since 2011.

In a news release, Whitver bragged about keeping his promises “to implement conservative budgets, reduce taxes and put pro-growth policies into place,” while “funding education” and supporting law enforcement “with bold reforms.”

But the top Senate Republican isn’t confident enough to let the Iowans who know him best judge his record. Instead of running in the new Senate district 21, where he now lives, Whitver will flee to safer GOP territory in Senate district 23.

Whitver’s decision closes one door for the second-ranking Senate Republican, Jake Chapman, who was also placed in a swing suburban district following redistricting.

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