ISU College Republicans president to run for Iowa House


Stephen Quist, senior in marketing, is announced as a representative of the Iowa House last Thursday, Feb 16. The election will be in December. 

Thaddeus Mast

The current president of ISU College Republicans is now in the running for representative of Iowa House District 46. Stephen Quist, senior in marketing, is graduating this fall but said he wants to continue to help and serve the Ames community after he leaves.

“The people and the community and the students I spend time with have really made me appreciate it, and I really want to give back to them,” Quist said. “It’s important to have someone interested in the students at the state level.”

As well as heading the ISU College Republicans, Quist is also the president of his fraternity, Beta Sigma Psi, where he currently resides. Ben Gremel,  Quist’s friend since his freshman year and also senior in marketing, said he encourages and supports Quist. 

“Stephen is an excellent role model for the younger House guys,” Gremel said. “He sets his goals high and works his best at achieving them.” 

Quist is running against Lisa Heddens, a Democrat with 10 years of experience in the House representing District 46.

“My pro-business approach is important to the state, and I also think I will provide a unique perspective to the state house that [Heddens] has not provided,” Quist said.

Quist will be leaving the ISU College Republicans after another month due to his running for office.

“[College Republicans] will provide me with a good network and has provided me with experience managing my time,” Quist said. “But other than that, the network will be the greatest benefit.

Quist said he will be focusing his efforts toward students and small businesses.

“Right now, we are under record student debt, and students find it hard to find jobs” Quist said. “At Iowa State, we have an average student debt of about $30,000 and unemployment for people aged 18 to 24 is still right around 17 percent, so we are still in an economy racking up debt.”

Quist said the best way to help students is to put a pro-business policy in place that keeps jobs in Iowa “because the problem with the brain drain in the state is that so many of our college students leaving.” 

Although he has said he has a passion for politics, Quist said he does not wish to pursue a political career indefinitely.

“Politics has always been a passion and in my nature,” Quist said. “It’s something I think everyone should care about more.”

Quist said he is excited but also worried about winning over the older voting public. 

“Naturally that is one of my concerns,” Quist said, “and what I want to say to that is we have so many problems in this country and in the state that generation after generation have been kicking the can down the road and our generation is sitting at the end of the road with no road to keep kicking the can down.

“So, we have two options: we can lie down and give up or we can grab the bull by the horns and make something happen.” 

Quist said he will be opening a small business in Ames after he graduates, as he would have to stay in the Ames area if elected.

The election for Iowa House District 46 representative is scheduled for Nov. 6.