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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bomgaars, Hess set to debate Nov. 1

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

(Photo)
Steve Bomgaars
It's been 13 months since the two candidates announced plays to seek the opportunity to represent the newly formed Iowa House District 2.

Spencer High School teacher Steve Bomgaars (D-Spencer), who received no challenge in the primary election, will face Megan Hess (R-Spencer), who won her primary race against Josh Davenport, in the Tuesday, Nov. 6 general election.

Before the two face off on the ballot, however, they will face one another in a live debate Thursday, Nov. 1, in council chambers at Spencer City Hall.

The debate is scheduled for an hour, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Council chambers will open for seating a half-hour before the debate.

(Photo)
Megan Hess
Representatives from the area's print and radio media will serve on the media panel, asking each candidate questions. Questions may be submitted by audience members to the moderator. All questions must be formatted for each candidate to answer.

Following a statewide redistricting process, House District 2 will include all of Clay and Palo Alto counties, as well as southern Dickinson County, when the new state governing body is sworn in.

"After serving over seven years on the city council, I have seen what can be accomplished when leaders and the community come together," Bomgaars said. "We need a similar approach to state government -- moving forward by finding common ground and steering away from the divisive rhetoric so prevalent today. I want to represent the concerns of all the people of northwest Iowa, not just special interests ..."

Hess, a 2005 Spencer High School graduate, has experience in Congress, the Iowa Statehouse and the White House. She began working as a page at the Iowa Legislature in 2005. From there Hess has gone on to serve in Washington D.C., working in the White House for the Office of Public Liaison, and Office of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs. She also spent time working with Iowa lawmakers Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Steve King. While in law school, she worked for the House research staff in the Minnesota legislature.

Bomgaars has taught Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics, American Government and U.S. History at SHS for more than 30 years.

"I have always encouraged my students to actively participate in citizenship," Bomgaars said. "An important part of learning about American government is not just seeing problems, but working toward solutions."

In addition to teaching, Bomgaars has coached SHS boys golf and led Spencer to nine state tournament appearances, including three runner-up finishes. He is also a member of the Spencer School Foundation Board of Directors and a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

"The state of Iowa faces challenges in the near future," Bomgaars said. "We need state leaders who will work to find practical solutions and take advantage of the many opportunities Iowa holds for our children and grandchildren. Our focus must be on creating a positive climate for economic development with good paying jobs, supporting our strong agricultural economy and on improving our educational system so our children are prepared for the future."

Hess, a former student of Bomgaars while attending Spencer High School, said she expects a civil campaign as the two approach the election.

"All politics is local. You usually know your opponent pretty well. It just so happens, he happened to be my teacher," Hess said.

Hess cited jobs and the economy as a top priority of hers.

"Nearly every weekend during law school I would cross the border into Iowa and see the sign that says 'Fields of Opportunity.' It is my fear that those opportunities are not available for a lot of people -- of any age.

"To bring people here we need to address the problems in housing, education, economic development and couple it with lower taxes, less regulation and less government," Hess explained. "I have been talking to local business owners to figure out what it would take for them to hire one more employee. I will take a grassroots effort of economic development to Des Moines and show the state and nation that northwest Iowa has its doors open to business."

Hess sees her previous experience as a strong point.

"Being a clerk and a page, I was really exposed to the processes and inner workings. ... I know the people. I know the process. I'm ready to work the first day. I'm ready to get things done."

Hess said that everything fell into place for her to make a run at this time.

"I've always been interested in the state happenings in the legislature.It just kind of fell together. I got a job here and the district opened up, it was just right."


Comments
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You can learn a lot more about candidates in local debates than national debates. The responses aren't typically canned, talking points. Rather, you get a sense of each person's depth of knowledge. I'm really glad both sides agreed to do this.

-- Posted by Sony on Tue, Oct 9, 2012, at 8:21 AM

We are lucky in Northwest Iowa to have what appears to be a civil, candid campaign from both sides. While the national soundbites are getting irritating, a local debate like this is refreshing!

-- Posted by bburns01 on Tue, Oct 9, 2012, at 11:40 AM

A young DC staffer that can't pass the Bar shouldn't stand a chance. But put an R by a name, throw a lot of $ their way and this district will vote for anyone.

Wonder who will tell her how to vote?

-- Posted by helped_myself on Tue, Oct 9, 2012, at 5:08 PM

I didn't know that she didn't pass the bar, but passing the bar and being a good legislator are not mutually exclusive.

-- Posted by Sony on Tue, Oct 9, 2012, at 8:03 PM

Steve has done nothing to bring jobs to the community. We need young energetic leaders to get things done. Voting for Steve will ultimately hurt all of Iowa's future. He is not interested in anything but handouts and higher taxes.

-- Posted by DOWNWITHDEMS on Wed, Oct 10, 2012, at 8:27 AM

Exactly how are teachers supposed to directly bring jobs to the community? How many jobs has Megan brought? I guess educating kids so they can qualify for jobs or further education isn't important to conservatives.

Not passing the bar but selectively listing attending law school misleads you to believe she accomplished something she hasn't as proven by the acknowledgement that you didn't know.

Based on the two observations above, I conclude that conservatives are anti education. After all, you can't control educated people with misinformation and scare tactics.

-- Posted by helped_myself on Wed, Oct 10, 2012, at 10:05 AM

I am shocked that someone with the name "downwithdems" is not voting for Steve.

@helped_myself - my only point was that the ability to pass the bar does not translate to being a good legislator or vice-versa. Personally, I passed the bar with pretty high marks. I am certain I wouldn't be a good legislator. Further, there are some pretty famous politicians who failed the bar, like JFK Jr. and Hillary Clinton (granted, they failed the New York and DC bar respectively, which have lower pass rates than most midwest bar exams).

I agree listing that she attended law school and currently works at a Spencer law firm is...misleading.

-- Posted by Sony on Wed, Oct 10, 2012, at 11:11 AM

I assume that the thought was that while he sat on the city council, he was not helping to bring jobs to town, not that he wasn't creating jobs while he was teaching.

-- Posted by a-thought-or-two on Wed, Oct 10, 2012, at 12:54 PM

Well if providing extra credit to vote for democrats is how we want our youth to be educated, I guess Steve is doing a great job. Listing that you attended law school is not misleading and is an accomplishment in and of itself. Lots of people apply for law school and don't get in. Lots of people have a high priced shingle on the wall, look at Obama, it doesn't mean the know what works in the real world. Steve has been on the city council quite awhile and all that has happened is fewer jobs, lower pay, and more taxes. Well done Steve.

-- Posted by DOWNWITHDEMS on Wed, Oct 10, 2012, at 2:32 PM

Do you honestly believe that Steve gave/gives extra credit to students who vote Democrat? Nevermind the fact that it would be impossible to verify who voted Democrat or otherwise, do you have any evidence of this?

-- Posted by Sony on Wed, Oct 10, 2012, at 3:21 PM

How could Steve give his students extra credit to vote Democrat? Very, very few of his students would even be old enough to vote.

-- Posted by Henry Blake on Wed, Oct 10, 2012, at 4:03 PM

Has Steve passed the bar exam? What's wrong with working at a Spencer law firm and graduating with at law degree? It's more about what they support anyway.

-- Posted by Mechler on Wed, Oct 10, 2012, at 6:46 PM

@simpleperson - because stating it that way implies that she is an attorney.

-- Posted by Sony on Wed, Oct 10, 2012, at 7:48 PM

Sony....is this the paragraph that you are talking about?

Hess, a 2005 Spencer High School graduate, has experience in Congress, the Iowa Statehouse and the White House. She began working as a page at the Iowa Legislature in 2005. From there Hess has gone on to serve in Washington D.C., working in the White House for the Office of Public Liaison, and Office of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs. She also spent time working with Iowa lawmakers Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Steve King. While in law school, she worked for the House research staff in the Minnesota legislature.

No where in there does it indicate that she is a lawyer or worked/s as one. it simply gives her credentials. And while she was "in" law school, she worked "for" the house. So I am just confused where you are getting that she is indicating that she is a lawyer.

-- Posted by acerdj on Thu, Oct 11, 2012, at 5:41 AM

I was not clear. Sorry.

Copy and pasted from her website..."She then went on to law school and is currently employed at Hemphill Law Office in Spencer."

Just so there is no confusion, she is a lawyer because she graduated law school with a JD. She is not an attorney if she has not passed the bar exam.

Kind of got away from my original point. The ability to pass a bar exam does not reflect how good a person will be as a legislator.

-- Posted by Sony on Thu, Oct 11, 2012, at 8:16 AM

Steve Bomgaars taught upper level government classes to 17 & 18 year olds. You can register to vote at 17.5. Absolutely, he encouraged his students to register to vote, and provided the materials for them to do so and let their voices be heard as soon as they were of the legal age to vote, but I don't recall him ever giving extra credit to someone who said they voted Democrat.

I'm not voting for him, but even I think that is a ridiculous sentiment. Do you think he then went and held their hands and peered over their shoulders to make sure they were voting correctly? Absolutely not, and he's far from stupid enough to not believe every kid would come back and promise they'd voted Dem just to get the extra credit!!!

-- Posted by a-thought-or-two on Thu, Oct 11, 2012, at 10:01 AM

I hope the media, asks Bomgaars about how he stands on the issues. He hasn't taken a stand that I have read or heard.

Is he Pro life or Pro Choice?

Will he work to allow Iowans to vote on the Marriage Issue Amendment?

Is he for the right to work laws?

Will he vote to spend more money that we take in?

Why is he avoiding these issues?

-- Posted by guitarman on Thu, Oct 11, 2012, at 11:14 AM

@Sony I still don't understand your lawyer/attorney comment. Secretaries, law clerks and janitors work at law firms. This is a made up issue IMO. Move on.

@guitarman Good questions for both candidates.

-- Posted by Mechler on Thu, Oct 11, 2012, at 11:45 AM

Stupid question I know but just out of curiousity why would people put both a Hess and Bomgaars sign in their yard? That would be like putting a Romney & Obama sign in your yard.

-- Posted by financeman on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 8:50 AM

Financeman-

I would assume there are both signs because one occupant is for Hess, one for Bomgaars. Each want to show their support.

-- Posted by my2cents2 on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 12:08 PM

Good point.

-- Posted by financeman on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 1:10 PM


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