Iowa Republicans are Focused on Dividing Iowa

ICYMI: Local elections in Iowa could become partisan under proposed bill

Iowa Republicans have shown that they’re not just happy to put politics over people — they’re openly embracing it. Even though the country is more divided than ever, Republicans have brought forward legislation that would make local elections partisan, erasing centuries of nonpartisan tradition. 

Don’t be fooled — this is an obvious response to progressives’ “unambiguous victory”  over nearly every Moms for Liberty-backed candidate in last year’s school board elections. These candidates won because they were the best choice to serve Iowans — not because of a letter next to their name. Republicans would like to change that, putting politics over people.

“Iowans want less politics in local government, not more. Nonpartisan local elections are a centuries-old tradition that is good for the civic health of our local communities. When these races are nonpartisan, Iowans can pick the candidate who is best for the job without worrying about what letter is next to the candidate’s name, said IDP Chair Rita Hart. “Republicans are scared that the candidates they like are on the wrong side of the issues in these elections, and they’re falling back on the same thing they have been: dividing Iowans to the harm of Iowa.”

This bill would also increase costs for school districts that are already stretched thin by Governor Reynolds’ refusal to fund public schools.

“I would prefer that we not have to spend money on an election that could be spent on a teacher instead, or a program that is really important for students,” said Margaret Buckton,  Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Iowa School of Education.

Rather than focusing on dividing Iowans, Iowa Republicans should focus on supporting candidates who want to serve Iowans—not divide them. That’s how Iowa Democrats have beaten — and will continue to beat — extremist candidates up and down the ballot.