Beth Wessel-Kroeschell and Ross Wilburn set to represent Ames unopposed


Graphic by Biong Biong

The photo of Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell is the courtesy of the Iowa State Daily, and the image of Rep. Ross Wilburn is courtesy of the Washington Post.

Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell and Rep. Ross Wilburn will represent Ames residents in the Iowa House of Representatives, as they both face no opposition.

For her 17th consecutive year, Wessel-Kroeschell will represent District 49, which includes parts of Ames and Grant Township, as a member of the Democratic Party. She is running uncontested; this will be her 10th term in office.

Wessel-Kroeschell is a lifelong Ames resident. Outside of politics, she is the event coordinator for Reiman Gardens, where she recently concluded the Spirits in the Garden event.

Wilburn is an Illinois native who was raised in Ames. He has held his current office since 2019 and represents the 50th representative district, which includes parts of Ames and Story County.

Wilburn has served on the Iowa City City Council, serving one term as mayor, and currently serves as the chair of the Iowa Democratic Party.

Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell is running unopposed to represent Iowa’s 49th congressional district in the state House of Representatives. (Courtesy of Beth Wessel-Kroeschell’s website)

Wessel-Kroeschell said she values “doing better” as Iowans in her upcoming term. She learned this principle from a former Minnesota senator, Paul Wellstone.

“One of my favorite quotes comes from a former senator, Paul Wellstone, he says ‘we all do better when we all do better,” said Wessel-Kroeschell. “I think it’s really important that this is how we focus, and how I focus, on public policy.”

Costs for Iowans

According to his website, Wilburn wants to focus on lowering costs for Iowans, including childcare, healthcare, food and utility bill costs. His website states that he hopes to reduce living costs overall for Iowans.

Wessel-Kroeschell stated that in this election, “doing better” includes reducing inflation, reconsidering college costs and helping to put a cap on prescription drugs for Iowa families.

Reproductive rights

Another important component of this election for Wessel-Kroeschell is access to reproductive rights. She said she values providing a full array of services, including abortion and birth control.

Wilburn’s website also states that he wants to protect reproductive rights, including abortions. His website states that he believes lawmakers should not be involved in someone’s decisions regarding starting a family.

Public education

Wilburn’s website also discusses his plan to support Iowa’s public schools. His website states that he believes public schools in Iowa have lost the strong foundation they used to have, and he hopes to restore this foundation during his term by supporting teachers and Iowa students.

Rep. Ross Wilburn is running unopposed to represent Iowa’s 50th congressional district. (Courtesy of Ross Wilburn Campaign)

Wessel-Kroeschell said she also hopes to help Iowa families by investing in Iowa education and childcare, including providing further funding and lowering childcare costs for working families.

Legalization of marijuana

Wilburn’s website also discusses the legalization of marijuana. He believes that legalizing marijuana for adult use will lead to safer Iowans, increased tax revenue, and improved quality of life for Iowans suffering from chronic illness.

Wessel-Kroeschell also stated that she was hoping to address the legalization of marijuana in her upcoming term.

“We have states all around us that have legalized marijuana; Iowans are driving to Illinois and other states to have access to legal marijuana,” said Wessel-Kroeschell. “It is safer if we legalize it because we can regulate it and make sure that it’s not laced with other dangerous drugs or chemicals, and I would also support regulating it so it is only for adults like alcohol.”

Wessel-Kroeschell advises Ames residents to get out and vote, as this election, in her opinion, is a crucial one. She said that new voter laws and some recent policies have been an attack on democracy, and voting is a good way for citizens to combat this issue.

“It might be the most important year in my lifetime,” said Kroeschell. “Despite voting for good policies that allow us all to do better, I think the concern I am hearing from so many people is the attack on our democracy.”

Election Day is Tuesday. More information on these candidates can be found on Wilburn’s and Wessel-Kroeschell’s campaign websites.