Five gubernatorial candidates to visit Iowa State Saturday

Isd Politics Desk

When November rolls around, the voters will decide who Iowa’s next governor will be.

Gubernatorial candidates are heading to Iowa State to make sure voters make an informed decision. At 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24 in the Dolezal Auditorium in Curtiss Hall, Democrats Cathy Glasson, Jon Neiderbach and Ross Wilburn, and Libertarians Marco Battaglia and Jake Porter will be answering questions and talking platform. 

Iowa State sophomore in computer science Lance Leski will moderate the event. 

Marco Battaglia

Battaglia, a Libertarian, is focussing on medical, agricultural and economic freedom as he campaigns to be Iowa’s next governor.  

“My platform will simplify and reduce taxation for all Iowans,” his website states. “It will balance the budget, reduce debt and reduce the size of government without cutting the social safety net or ending services that Iowans rely on.”

“My platform will restore and improve access to mental health services. It will increase revenues, decrease inequality, reform civil justice and first and foremost, restore freedoms for Iowans while protecting their civil liberties.”

Key points of his campaign are ending prohibitions to medicinal plants and improving mental health care in Iowa. 

He believes by legalizing cannabis the police will also be able to focus their resources on violent crimes. 

Battaglia is a native Iowan who graduated from the University of Northern Iowa. He has experience working in banking, insurance, home mortgage and radio.  

Jake Porter

Porter wants to focus on “All your freedoms, all the time” as he runs for Iowa governor. 

On his website, Porter laid out what he wants to accomplish in his first 100 days including restoring the right to vote to those who have been incarcerated and have paid their time. 

He also wants to cut government waste, modernize Iowa’s education system and give medical freedom by legalizing medical cannabis.

Over his entire term as governor, Porter laid out other objectives such as criminal justice reform, economic prosperity and civil liberties. 

Ross Wilburn, former Iowa City mayor

Wilburn, former Iowa City mayor, is saying “Let’s be Iowa” as he looks to become Iowa’s next governor. 

He called Iowa a leader in education and civil rights, according to his campaign website.

“Despite the current political climate of fear, greed and ignorance, Ross Wilburn has a true vision of what Iowa has always been and what Iowa can be,” the website states. “Ross is entirely committed to leading an Iowa that is just, smart, forward-thinking and truly ‘Iowa nice.'”

Wilburn is currently the diversity officer and associate program director for community and economic development for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. 

He believes all Iowans should have equal access to shelter, nutrition, justice, education and health care.

His priorities are to make Iowa healthy, prosperous and inclusive.

“Developing a strong and sustainable economy from rural to urban communities that provides ample work as well as accessible, affordable education to lift all Iowans,” Wilburn’s website states. “Wilburn will focus on Iowa’s K-12 system as well as its colleges and universities, ensuring education that once again is recognized as the best in the nation as well as strengthening connections with employers to ensure that the next generation of Iowans is prepared for success.”

Jon Neiderbach

Jon Neiderbach gives two promises which he plans to follow during his campaign and if he is elected governor.

The first promise is he’ll except no more the $500 from any donor in the primary. 

“The second is that nobody you can vote for in 2018 will do more to shake up Iowa government to make it more efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of Iowans,” his website states. “I have the passion, knowledge and skills to go after every sacred cow, every outdated policy and every wasteful practice in order to improve government services, save taxpayer money and most importantly make a better life for all Iowans.”

Neiderbach’s campaign website lists some of his goals and values. Among these, he wants to make food, housing and medical care accessible to all Iowans. 

He also believes taxes should be progressive, “levied according to the ability to pay.” He also condemned discrimination and bigotry and said these issues should be identified and addressed. 

“This is an ambitious list, and it will not be entirely accomplished in one year or even four,” Neiderbach wrote. “But in decades past we were not afraid to be bold and ambitious, indeed we embraced the challenge and knew that the journey to achieve such challenges made us better.”

Neiderbach’s website states he has a combination of experience, knowledge and new ideas with 14 years with the Legislative Fiscal Bureau and 15 years with the Iowa Department of Human Resources.

Cathy Glasson

Cathy Glasson has a “bold progressive plan” for Iowa. On issues regarding health care, the minimum wage and unions, Glasson believes she can help Iowans the most.

Glasson says her former experience as a nurse and health care union leader has prepared her to reform Iowa’s healthcare system. She would start by moving away from Iowa’s current privatized Medicaid system to a universal single payer system. As the federal government hasn’t implemented a system like this, Glasson says, “Iowa must be ready to lead the way” to universal health care.

Glasson also supports an immediate increase in Iowa’s minimum wage. Her plan is to support legislation day one that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over three years and then tie it to inflation. Glasson uses this policy to distinguish her plan from other candidates saying “workers can’t wait five or ten years for this to happen.”

Finally, Glasson plans to strengthen unions in the state. She would start by restoring chapter 20, which affected the bargaining rights of 184,000 Iowans. To help unions and their workers, Glasson would also get rid of “right to work” laws in the state.