With the June 2 primary less than a week away, two candidates remain in the running for the Republican nomination for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District representative.
The two candidates, former Congressman David Young and retired U.S. Army Colonel Bill Schafer, are both hoping to take the seat currently occupied by Congresswoman Cindy Axne, who defeated Young for the position during the 2018 election.
Schafer spent 37 years in the military before his last active duty at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. Schafer said he and his wife fell in love with Iowa and have lived in the district for eight years. In May 2019, Schafer resigned from his position with the Department of the Army in order to run for Congress.
Schafer said his values for the campaign consist of honesty, integrity and work ethic, with a focus on learning what is important to the constituents.
“I believe that each of the 16... counties and all of the folks in Iowa District 3 are equally important,” said Schafer. “I will support the America First Agenda, smaller federal government and deregulation. I am not a politician, I am willing to serve Iowans and our Nation in order to protect our freedoms and preserve our unalienable rights.”
Issues important to Schafer include preserving the Constitution, national security, border sovereignty, economic recovery, balancing the budget, setting term limits and upholding pro-life beliefs.
“I will deliver constitutional problem solving, which means if the constitution requires a federal solution to a topic, I will work to deliver that. If not, I will work equally hard to push the topic back to the states and/or individuals,” said Schafer.
Schafer said he is the best choice in this election due to his outside perspective to the political world and his methods of getting personal with voters and hearing their concerns.
“My campaign will deliver true conservative, grass roots values to Iowa District 3,” said Schafer. “My 32 year military career has provided senior level experience in strategic planning, complex problem-solving, policy writing and leadership. I have the courage to stand on principle and will not answer questions nor support policy in order to pander to voting blocks.”
Young is a Van Meter native, growing up and choosing to live in Iowa’s 3rd District for the majority of his life. If given the chance to represent the district again, Young said he will give Iowa a voice and leadership again in the House of Representatives.
“When I was in Congress, I led on issues to improve the lives of Iowans,” said Young. “To save and improve the lives of veterans, to open markets to our farmers, and to cut taxes and bureaucratic red tape for Iowa taxpayers and small business owners. As your representative, I’ll do it again.”
One of the key issues of Young’s campaign is the economy, which Young said was strong and growing before COVID-19, with low unemployment, high job participation, growing wages and the creation of new jobs. Young credits this to successes made by him and his fellow Republicans in Washington.
“I worked with President Trump by supporting the tax relief in Congress and voting to curb these burdensome rules and regulations,” said Young. “We know what works to create a strong economy, and I’ll work with President Trump to help get this economy back on track again.”
Young said he will push for strong and fair trade agreements, with a focus on bringing back manufacturers of crucial drugs and personal protective equipment.
“We can’t be dependent and rely on China, or any other country, for these important products,” said Young. “This is a tough lesson we learned from COVID-19.”
Other key issues for Young are upholding the Constitution, ensuring access to affordable and quality healthcare, protecting Medicare and Social Security and strengthening the immigration system.
“We are a compassionate people,” said Young. “Yet there is a right way to come to the United States. Too many choose to come here illegally and we must enforce the law. We must secure our border in whatever way is necessary and works — from constructing fencing and walling, adapting to new technologies, to hiring new personnel.”
Young said he would make a better representative than Axne because of the knowledge and relationships he has formed on both sides of the aisle, criticizing Axne for her voting record.
“She votes with Speaker Nancy Pelosi 98% of the time,” said Young. “Her votes do not reflect the priorities, principles and philosophy of the people of this great district. I know this district well and this district knows me. In 2014, 2016, and 2018, I won 15 of the 16 counties. I line up with the people of southwest Iowa. I know how to get things done and I know how to build relationships on both sides of the aisle to find areas of agreement without compromising values and principles.”
As for the primary, Young said he is the best choice for Republicans due to his record and history in politics.
“I have a strong record of accomplishments and have shown effective leadership for Iowa,” said Young. “I will hit the ground running. I won’t have a learning curve. I know the job and will again be able to get to work right away.”