Quirmbach runs for re-election

Danielle Ferguson

Sen. Herman Quirmbach, D-Ames, officially announced he is running for re-election for State Senate.

Quirmbach held a press conference at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 21 to discuss the official announcement.

“With the democratic caucuses Jan. 21, it sounded like the appropriate time to make a formal announcement,” Quirmbach said. “Everybody’s been assuming that I would run again. That’s not a deep dark secret.”

Quirmbach is running for District 23, which includes the cities of Ames and Kelley and townships Grant, Washington and Milford.

Running on the Republican side is Jeremy Davis, former Ames City Council member and district representative with the Office of Congressman Steve King. Davis announced he was running in August. Davis said he was not surprised to hear of Quirmbach’s announcement.

Quirmbach said he is not aware of any other democratic candidates.

Among Quirmbach’s key election focuses are job training and availability, an increase in minimum wage and education.

“The overarching theme is to help build and support the middle class,” Quirmbach said. “[One of] several themes that funnel into that same [goal] is education. If people want to get a decent job and get a secure standard of living these days, they have to acquire all the skills that they can. They have to be able to afford that education.”

Quirmbach discussed the bi-partisan support of the current year’s tuition freeze and the work on the possibility of next year’s tuition freeze for undergraduate resident students.

Another education related topic Quirmbach focused on was his support of the ISU Research Park.

“The Research Park has a terrific record of success in growing new companies and creating new products and markets to commercialize ideas arising from university research and personnel,” Quirmbach said in a press release. “… the Park [has] created over 3,000 highly paid jobs in Ames and Iowa.”

Davis’ main focuses also include the economy and education, he said.

“We have to have a strong economy,” Davis said. “That means we have to encourage a lot of private sector job development that give job opportunities for all Iowans.”

In terms of higher education, Davis said he has a positive response toward the tuition freeze for resident students, but wants to focus more on long-term and overall costs of higher education.

Quirmbach has served in the Iowa Senate since 2003 and has lived in Ames for roughly 24 years. He has served on the Ames City Council from 1995 to 2003 and also teaches economics at Iowa State.

Davis is a previous Ames City Council member, as well, and has lived in Ames since 1996 and is a current board member on the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau.