Deidre DeJear shares top issues in the race for governor


Daniel Jacobi

Deidre DeJear, Democratic candidate for the gubernatorial race, presented her key campaign points to students Tuesday evening.

Democratic candidate for Iowa governor, Deidre DeJear, told Iowa State students that public education is the number one issue on the ballot in November.

DeJear is running against the Republican incumbent, Gov. Kim Reynolds, as well as third-party candidate Rick Stewart. DeJear spoke at Iowa State as part of the Town Hall Lecture Series, which brought candidates involved in the upcoming election to speak about the issues involved in the election and to take questions from students and the community.

DeJear said she believes the number one issue in this election is public education. DeJear wants to focus on public education by improving funding for public schools and taking steps to prevent teacher turnover by further supporting public school teachers.

“Education is foundation to who we are,” DeJear said. “That’s one of the reasons why we’ve been able to attract business and industry.”

DeJear also discussed her plans for healthcare in Iowa, which includes public healthcare, mental health care and reproductive rights.

Her platform for public healthcare includes expanding access to resources for insured individuals, as well as making Medicaid more accessible for Iowa residents. DeJear also hopes to encourage more Iowans to enter the healthcare industry.

To focus on mental health resources, DeJear said that she wants to add more beds to Iowa hospitals for mental health patients. Currently, there are fewer than 600 beds for the population of over three million Iowans.

Her plan for reproductive legislation in Iowa includes giving pregnant people access to abortions beyond six weeks, which Reynolds proposed earlier in her tenure.

“When an individual goes into their doctor’s appointment to make a decision that’s within their best interest, they should not have to consider the opinion of their governor,” DeJear said.

Regarding climate change, DeJear said she advocates for promoting cleaner water for Iowans and protecting Iowa land through climate change measures. According to her campaign website, specific measures she will take include creating more jobs in the renewable energy sector, making it easier for people to become farmers, investing in regenerative agricultural practices and creating legislation encouraging farmers to farm sustainably.

When speaking on immigration, DeJear referenced former Iowa Gov. Robert Ray’s immigration relocation policy. Ray’s program resettled over a thousand refugees in Iowa and allowed them to start a life within Iowa’s borders. DeJear said she wants to give immigrants a chance to live successfully in Iowa, much like Gov. Ray had done. She hopes to provide resources to immigrants that would allow them to live in Iowa, work, and eventually give them a pathway to gain citizenship.

Along with that, DeJear said that she hopes to restore collective bargaining in Iowa, which allows workers to negotiate their rights and wages within the workplace.

“Iowans are up for this task,” DeJear said. “As we’ve always been, we are a petri dish for progress.”

DeJear said to Iowa State students that they have a vital role in the Iowa political process.

“Your voices as students are incredibly critical to this process,” DeJear said. “All the progress that we have seen happen over time, students have been at the heart of the movement.”

More information on DeJear can be found on her campaign website.