Democrat Chris Adcock will challenge incumbent Cecil Dolecheck for the Iowa House of Representative in the 24th District in the Nov. 3rd general election.
“I'm running because Iowa is at a crossroads,” said Adcock. “Knowing most voters prefer a balanced government, this is the year Iowa Democrats can break the trifecta of control held in the Iowa House, Senate, and governor's seat.”
Adcock fell in love with the landscape and people in southwest Iowa after moving here in 2012 to care for her terminally ill father. She then met her husband, Don, a Shenandoah native, and they live in rural Essex on 80 acres of restored habitat. The couple enjoys the native trees, grasses, and wildlife on their property and raise honeybees and have close to 50 chickens and roosters.
Adcock said she doesn’t feel like the people in southwest Iowa are being heard, so she will be the candidate that will crow the loudest for southwest Iowa. She believes that a strong personal and public safety net must be sustained.
She is involved in the community and local and regional politics and currently serves as the chair of the Page County Democratic Party.
If elected Adcock will focus on the economy and business, healthcare, education, and the environment.
“Since 2016, unrestrained Iowa Republicans have passed bills which destroy civil rights, defund and hobble rural medical access and health insurance, dismantle labor rights and collective bargaining, and they are inching towards eliminating public schools across the state,” said Adcock.
Adcock said due to the governor’s “lack of transparency” and “mismanagement over the past six months,” the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged Iowa’s nursing homes and businesses and moved into schools.
“COVID has really enveloped everything,” said Adcock. “Not only has it shown the weak spots in our social networks and safety nets, but in our economy too. Every business owner in house District 24 has to be considering what’s going on with their business.”
Adcock said as a former small-business owner, she can relate to the personal stress of having to close a business. She said she is driven to foster new entrepreneurship as southwest Iowa rebuilds from the COVID-19 pandemic and recent tariff hits. Adcock said there must also be a focus on strengthening the established small businesses in southwest Iowa and farming businesses.
“We don’t have the pandemic under control, so our economy is not yet under control,” said Adcock.
Looking ahead, Adcock would like to see better transportation systems and communication routes, including broadband for southwest Iowa.
She is also concerned with the shrinking population over the past 20 years and public schools' consolidation.
Adcock said the consolidation of school districts and now increased online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic are changing how children are educated. She said working for funding and opportunities for rural students, educators, and administrators to create new learning paradigms will be a priority.
She said learning environments must foster equality and equity for all students, and diversified training and curriculum should be required along with creating programs to address students’ particular needs and abilities.
Adcock said she would work on ending Iowa’s privatized Medicaid reimbursement program. She said it has strapped hospital budgets and caused the elimination of basic programs such as childbirth.
She said southwest Iowa needs more substantial incentives to retain local medical professionals and provide better insurance reimbursement levels and processes. She said from personal experience; no one should have to travel a long distance to reach a specialist or medical facility when someone's life is on the line.
Adcock added that mental health care also must be accessible to everyone.
Adcock believes that COVID-19 will impact the state and local economies for the next 5 – 10 years and healthcare, education, and businesses.
To help people in southwest Iowa receive accurate up to date information on COVID-19, Adcock started a Facebook page at the beginning of the pandemic. It is called Southwest Iowa COVID-19 Mutual Aid and is a non-political group providing facts and science. She said the page now has around 3,300 members.
When asked if Iowa was heading in the right direction during the pandemic, Adcock said, “Flat out no.” Adcock said she is paying attention to the science and feels that Iowa needs to have a mask mandate like so many other states.
“We can’t even agree that this simple little thing has value,” said Adcock. “It’s not a fail-safe measure, but the value is proven.”
She said it is unfair that people who already have limited ability to get out into the public must stay inside even more now.
“There’s a balance in there, and I just feel like by the state not asking everybody to participate in the health of the state is sorely misguided,” said Adcock.
Adcock said people in southwest Iowa are independent, strong, and rely on neighbors and family. She wants to make sure that southwest Iowa gets the attention it deserves.
“The saying it could be worse is said more often than it can be better,” said Adcock. “We should make it better. There are definitely leaders in the community, but I believe that on the state level, there could be a lot more help coming our way.”
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.