Neiderbach Profile

Devyn Leeson

Jon Neiderbach, one of the democratic gubernatorial candidates, has been in the state of Iowa for the last 40 years.

He came from New York to Grinnell college to study law. From there, he worked for 14 years at the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, now known as the Legislative Services Agency or LSA, that provides “objective research and analysis to both Democrats and Republicans for budget and policy decisions.”

Neiderbach said his focus in the LSA was often centered around human services and associated policy, so his next career involved working for the Iowa Department of Human Services for 15 years where he focused on technology projects and administration work that helped child services, juvenile homes and the violent sexual predator unit.

“I am an attorney. I have been a serving member of the Des Moines School Board for four years and the president for one year, and I have been heavily involved in politics and policy for several decades; That is what qualifies me in a nutshell,” Neiderbach said.

Neiderbach distinguished his campaign from the rest of the gubernatorial candidates by his experience.

“I have been around Iowa government, I know what works and what doesn’t,” Neiderbach said.

Part of knowing what works, Neiderbach said, is looking at Iowa’s issues systematically and not individually.

“The state’s issues are symptoms of the failing political, economic and legal systems that have been biased against working families,” Neiderbach said.

With his experience, Neiderbach plans to “efficiently and effectively” take this systematic approach towards issues like the tax system and special interests, things that Neiderbach called “the real issues.”

Neiderbach’s more specific policy goals are what he calls “bold and exciting.” Refocusing on mental healthcare, legalizing recreational marijuana, making the tax code reviewable and taking a closer look at corporate tax breaks are all reasons Neiderbach isn’t afraid to call himself a “radical.”

“While this might make some people nervous, it excites many others,” Neiderbach said.

Neiderbach says his approach to policy is always to figure out the root of the issue and to not just treat the symptoms. The biggest of these root issues, Neiderbach says, is the population and workforce demographics in the state.

“We have an aging population and too small of a workforce. We need to attract folks to move into Iowa, folks from other states and overseas. But we also need to encourage people to stay. To do this, we need to funnel a lot more money into education, and get our tution down to free. Not overnight, but eventually free tuition should be a part of all public universities,” Neiderbach said

Outside of education policy, Neiderbach would try to attract people to the state by supporting environmental protections and a “fair, progressive,” tax system.

Neiderbach said “students, teachers, parents and Iowans should know I have a passion for k-12 and higher education. For the better part of my adult life, I have focused on Iowa’s education system and I think we can make Iowa, Iowa State and UNI national leaders in more areas of education while also focusing on making college more accessible by lowering tuition.”