June 16, 2024

Republican candidates for state seats attend forum

The Clarke County Republican Central Committee hosted a Republican candidate forum on May 14 at Revelton Distillery for Republican candidates running for local and state offices.

Those in attendance running for state level seats were Brenda Brammer-Smith and Sam Wengryn, who are both seeking the nomination for Iowa House District 24 and Amy Sinclair, incumbent for Iowa Senate District 12. Incumbent for Iowa House District 24 Joel Fry, who announced in March that he was not seeking another term, was also in attendance. Senate District 12 includes eastern and northern portions of Union County.

The event was moderated by Don Heck. Each candidate was given the opportunity to talk about their campaign and were then given two minutes to answer pre-submitted questions with no rebuttals allowed. Unless otherwise noted, responses were given in alphabetical order.

There is one Democrat running for Iowa House District 24 - Sonya Hicks of Osceola. House District 24 also includes a portions of eastern and northern Union County.

Iowa Senate District 12 Sinclair is the only Republican running for the seat; she has one Democratic contender, Nicole Loew of Chariton.

Sinclair spoke of the work that has been accomplished in this year’s Senate session, including the changes to education to introduce oversight transparency, local control of local school boards and salary increases to recruit and retain teachers. She said the work done will help improve student achievement and that the task force will make sure everything is being followed.

She spoke on the $6 billion surplus within the state, signifying that there is still too much being paid in taxes. With the bill passed regarding tax cuts, it will come into effect on Jan. 1 instead of over a year later. Sinclair said that will equate to about $1 billion for Iowans, with an average of $800 per family. “...the state of Iowa doesn’t need, and we still get the business done for funding schools, keeping law enforcement a priority, making sure Medicaid is fully funded and moving our state forward,” said Sinclair of the tax savings.

Sinclair touched on legislation to tighten restrictions on foreign ownership of Iowa ag land, and spoke on the work that Fry had done on the timber reserve program. Though the bill ultimately failed, much was accomplished on it, and Sinclair will continue to work on it.

Speaking of the border and illegal immigration, Sinclair said that something has to be done to protect the nation and Iowa. She spoke of the law allowing law enforcement to detain and deport those who are in Iowa illegally, stating that the United States needs solid immigration processes.

In closing, Sinclair said, “We’re doing things that matter for Iowans in an absence of federal government doing the job to protect and support and nurture the citizens of my state. I’m going to step up and reassert the sovereignty that my state had already. I’m going to take back control and I’m going to serve and support the people here in Iowa, and particularly the people in District 12.”

United States Congress United States Congressman Zach Nunn had also been invited to the forum, however he was in Washington, D.C. and unable to attend. Absentee voting is open. The primary election takes place June 4.

Candra Brooks

A native of rural Union County, Candra holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from Simpson College and an Associate's Degree in Accounting from SWCC. She has been at the Osceola newspaper since October 2013, working as office manager before transitioning to the newsroom in spring 2022.