KIMT News 3- Senate District 4 covers all of Winnebago, Hancock, Wright and Kossuth counties.
Currently, the seat is held by incumbent Republican Sen. Dennis Guth. Guth is running for reelection following his first term on the Iowa Senate. He is being challenged by Democratic candidate Susan Bangert. Bangert previously ran for Iowa House in 2010.
The list of issues on the top of the priority for both candidates are very similar, but both have very different views. One of the concerns both have been hearing is water quality. While both agree bringing down legislation on farmers would be a bad idea, only Bangert supports the 3/8th cent sales tax.
“That is the constitutional amendment that was passed that authorizes the state of Iowa to increase the sales tax 3/8 of a percent and that was at the will of the people,” says Bangert. “The legislature however hasn’t enacted it in to law.”
“I’m really hesitant about increasing any taxes,” says Senator Guth. “Even at 3/8 of a percent. I think we have other places in our budget that we can save some money. We need to treat the state budget like our own income. We can’t just increase our income because we aren’t making enough.”
Another topic is skilled workers. Senator Guth believes there are enough good job already in the area, and there is a need for more skilled workers, and opportunities for students to get the skills needed.
“What we really need in this part of Iowa is to have a more trained workforce,” says Senator Guth. “I think we can do that through our community colleges and through tech schools and a lot of other partnerships.”
“So many Iowans are struggle financially that we need to increase the number of jobs and increase the minimum wage so they can make a good living,” says Bangert.
The top priority for both candidate varies significantly. Bangert, a long time educator, says schools need to be funded more timely as well as several other aspects.
“Transportation cost in rural Iowa are significantly more than what our urban counterparts are,” says Bangert. “We need to go look at that to make that more equitable for our rural schools the equity in some districts getting compared to rural schools is a huge issue as well.”
Senator Guth says he would like to work to try and bring power back to the legislative branch. he says the Supreme Court is not being constitutional and something needs to be done to give the voters a voice.
“One of the most important things that we can do is make sure that we don’t allow the Judiciary branch of the state to take over more than his share a look for legislative power in the past they’ve done a couple of things that I think of or reach their power,” says Guth