KIMT News 3 – Inside of the race for Iowa House District 51, both candidates would be new faces to the legislature as the current representative, Josh Brynes, will not be running for reelection.
Democratic candidate Tim Hejhal is the principal of Osage High School and has extensive military experience while Jane Bloomingdale is the current mayor of Northwood, owns a her own tax business and also has some experience in the education field. Though both candidates vary in background, they have very similar stances on issues that need to be addressed at the State House.
Education is at the top of the list for both candidates, agreeing there needs to be more timely funding for schools as well as looser reigns on how the money distributed to specific funds can be used by schools.
“Right now we have dollars and lots of accounts that we can’t use for specific local needs,” says Hejhal. “I’d like to see the schools be able to use maybe a percentage of money in each of those categorical accounts the way they see fit.”
“We’ve got some real issues with transportation. Our school transportation costs are really high. We also need to get a little bit of flexibility on the spending,” says Bloomingdale.
Another issue both agree needs to be addressed is how to bring more skilled jobs to the area.
“We need a skilled workforce or employers are not going to want to expand and they’re not gonna want to come to Iowa. We also need environment that’s conducive to coming to Iowa,” says Bloomingdale.
“We need to work with our economic development in each county to make sure there’s opportunities for them to grow and seek out businesses that would come to this area,” says Hejhal.
The state’s health care system is another issue both say needs to be looked at, but it is something that needs to be worked on together.
“I think it should’ve been something that the people had a chance to voice their concerns and let legislators have a chance to vote on,” says Hejhal. “It’s something that I don’t think the governor should have done just arbitrarily on his own.”
“The quality of health care insurance premiums has gone down where health care expenses and affordability has gone up — this is something we need to work together top-down,” says Bloomingdale.