Where Sonya Heitshusen and David Young stand on issues in the 2022 election

Two candidates are vying for an open seat at Iowa House in Dallas County this year.

Democrat Sonya Heitshusen and Republican David Young are running in Iowa House District 28, which includes southwest West Des Moines, Van Meter and Adel.

To help voters, the Des Moines Register sent questions to all federal, state and Des Moines-area legislative candidates running this year. Their responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Early voting begins Oct. 19 for the Nov. 8 election.

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Who is Sonya Heitshusen?

Age: 55

To party: Democrat

Where did you grow up? My family farm near Homestead

City of current residence: West Des Moines

Education: Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Mass Communication

Occupation: Public Information Officer, Statutory Auditor

Political experience and civic activities: I have served on the boards of the Alzheimer’s Association and the YMCA. I have also been actively involved with many non-profit organizations including the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Team Run Free, and Central Iowa Shelter Services. I am also a graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute.

Who is David Young?

David Young

Age: 54

To party: Republican

Where did you grow up? van counter

City of current residence: van counter

Education: BA in English, Drake University

Occupation: Educational consultant

Political experience and civic activities:

  • Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, 2006-2013
  • United States Representative in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District 2015-2019
  • Volunteer and supporter of local non-profit organizations, from addressing food insecurity to meeting the needs of veterans.

What would be your main stake if you were elected?

Heitshusen: Education is my top priority. Iowa once ranked number one in the nation for education. We are now in the middle of the pack. I think a lot of that is due to underfunding. In 1981, Governor Robert Ray, a Republican, supported the largest increase in education funding in 40 years. Over the past decade, funding has plummeted to an all-time low, leading to increased class sizes, declining test scores and teacher burnout. I also dedicate myself to mend the bitter partisan divide. I will go across the aisle and work with anyone who stands up for the best interests of Iowa. I am not a political insider or a career politician. I am here to serve the public.

Young: Strengthen Iowa’s education system, workforce, and economy.

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Iowans are grappling with rising costs and inflation. What can the state do to help them make ends meet?

Heitshusen: The Legislature can help reduce costs for Iowans by creating more affordable housing options and reducing health care and child care costs. I propose increasing state tax credits for affordable housing while taking advantage of federal incentives. I also support additional incentives for first-time home buyers. Childcare absorbs a large share of the household budget. Lawmakers can reduce the burden on families by increasing the credit for children and dependents, expanding eligibility for the child care assistance program, and providing incentives for employers who help with child care. children. We can reduce health care costs by capping the cost of some commonly prescribed drugs like insulin.

Young: Excessive government spending at the federal level is the root cause of inflation. We can make sure Iowans are better positioned to manage inflation by budgeting responsibly, lowering taxes, encouraging work, and removing unnecessary regulations. These common-sense policies will lower the costs of fuel, groceries, goods and services — and keep more money in the pockets of hard-working Iowans.

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What do you think Iowa’s abortion policy should be? Do you think abortion should be completely banned? Do you think Iowa should have no restrictions? If you think there should be restrictions, please be specific about the restrictions and exceptions you support.

Heitshusen: I am not in favor of banning abortion. I think it’s a matter of intimacy and bodily autonomy. Iowans should be trusted to make their own health care decisions without government interference. The Republican proposal to ban abortion after about six weeks will endanger women’s lives and limit the access of victims of rape and incest to abortion. I also fear that court rulings banning abortion are a step toward limiting other freedoms guaranteed by Iowans, such as marriage equality.

Young: I appreciate life from its beginning to its natural end. My opinions on the protection of life come from scientific perspectives, common sense and faith. Like so many other Iowans, I believe that life is precious and precious, and we must do what we can to protect the innocent lives of unborn children and the health of mothers.

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What’s the best way to improve Iowa’s education system?

Heitshusen: The Legislative Assembly must fully fund our public schools. We also need to support our educators. I am saddened by the recent attacks on teachers, who deserve our respect and support. I also oppose the diversion of public funds to private schools in the form of vouchers, which will undermine public schools and ultimately hurt our communities and Iowa’s economy. In addition to supporting K-12 programs, we need to invest in trade schools and apprenticeship programs, community colleges, and our state universities. Increasing education funding will reduce teacher shortages, reduce class sizes and expand opportunities for all children. They are Iowa’s most valuable resource. We must invest in them.

Young: We must provide the necessary funding that schools need to provide a top-notch education for our children here in Iowa. Along with vital funding, we need to ensure accountability and transparency in our schools. Parents are ultimately responsible for the education of their children. Giving parents high-quality options, rewarding great teachers, ensuring curriculum transparency, and not politicizing the classroom will help make Iowa the national leader in education where we are coveted and imitated by many. other states.

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What new laws, if any, do you think Iowa should enact regarding firearms?

Heitshusen: I support common sense gun laws, such as universal background checks and requirements for people to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon. I also support extreme risk protection laws that would keep guns out of reach of people deemed a danger to themselves or others. We also need to close a loophole in Iowa’s domestic violence law. Anyone convicted of domestic violence, including dating partners, should be required to surrender their firearms.

Young: I support the constitutional right of law-abiding people to protect themselves and their families. These tragedies where people are injured by armed criminals horrify and sadden us all. However, responsible gun owners should not be punished, penalized and criminalized for being law-abiding gun owners. We need to address the root causes of violence – whether a fist, knife, gun or other object is used as a weapon. Providing affordable access to quality mental health care is crucial. And we must dispel the dangerous idea of ​​defunding the police. Law enforcement is needed to serve us and protect us from armed criminals.

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