Ames-area representatives seeking reelection as filing period opens

Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell answers questions at the legislative forum hosted March 30, 2019, at Ames City Hall. In regards to a question asked about mental health, she said, “We have, you know, so many people who are suffering under the system as it is today, and it’s only getting worse.”

Mallory Tope

Election season is underway in Iowa as the election filing period for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and state offices opened up last week and will stay open until Friday. 

For a majority of Iowa House districts, only one candidate or no candidate has filed for the election on Nov. 4. In order for a candidate’s name to appear on the primary ballot on June 2, candidates must collect more than the required minimum number of signatures. 

The total number of signatures must equal at least 1 percent of the votes cast in the district the candidate is running for election in. 

In Iowa House District 46 where many Iowa State students live, as of Saturday, only the incumbent Rep. Ross Wilburn has filed to appear on the ballot.

Wilburn won his seat in a special election on Aug. 6, 2019. Previously, Lisa Heddens won the general election in 2018, but she resigned her seat on June 17, 2019, to take up a vacancy on the Story County Board of Supervisors. 

Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell of Iowa House District 45, another Ames-area seat, also filed for re-election. Wessel-Kroeschell will serve her 8th term if reelected in November. As of Saturday, she is the only candidate set to appear on the ballot.

“I have not seen that I have an opponent so far, but I am anticipating that I will get one,” Wessel-Kroeschell said.

Wessel-Kroeschell has served in the Iowa House of Representatives since 2005. She serves on the Judiciary Committee and as ranking member on the Human Resources Committee.

Those running for the Iowa House began their campaigns by trying to reach the minimum amount of signatures needed for a nomination. 

“At this point in the campaign, our focus has been to get my nomination petitions submitted, and I am grateful for those nominating me for the office and successfully getting my name on the ballot for the June 2 primary election,” Wilburn said.

Hosting fundraising is an important part of any campaign and is a main way to meet voters, Wessel-Kroeschell said.

“You really can’t win elections unless you have some money in the bank, so a big part of my campaign is fundraising,” Wessel-Kroeschell said. 

Candidates are using door-knocking, social media and public forums to reach voters within their districts. 

Wilburn will speak to Iowa State students Sunday in Barton Hall about how things work in the legislature, Wilburn said. 

“We will be doing door-to-door canvassing to get out the vote and discuss issues, continue to attend community events and fundraising,” Wilburn said.