Peter Leo is challenging Republican incumbent Brian Best in House District 12.  HD 12 includes Audubon, Carroll, and part of Crawford County.  Peter is a lifelong Iowan who graduated in 2010 from Drake Law School, and worked at larger firms in Sioux City and Omaha.  He decided in 2016 to move with his wife and two boys to Manning, Iowa, and works as an attorney in Denison.  He is passionate about ensuring that rural Iowans and small businesses have the support they need to gain access to our justice system.

As recently as 2014, the district was represented by a well-liked Democrat (Dan Muhlbauer).  However, that year, Republican Brian Best raised $525 thousand dollars, an astounding amount of money for this type of district, and beat him.  The source of those funds remains unclear, but an issue he challenged Rep. Muhlbauer on was guns.  Brian Best has gone on to sponsor or support a series of bills recklessly expanding gun rights, including allowing children under the age of 14 to own pistols.  He has followed the Republican herd in Des Moines, and voted to gut collective bargaining rights, restrict voting, to defund Planned Parenthood, restrict workers comp, and so on down the list of far right priorities.

Peter Leo felt he could move to a smaller law practice in a smaller town because of the health insurance options under Obamacare.  He would like to make sure that every single Iowan has health care coverage, and genuine health care security.  Peter writes about the failed Medicaid privatization, and the need for the state to re-take control of our Medicaid services, and the need to increase access to mental health coverage and mental health beds.

Peter is passionate about supporting the public schools attended by his two boys, and will work to ensure that properly funded public schools are available to all Iowa children.  He would also like to reverse cuts made in our postsecondary system, and work to limit the student debt burden.  He talks in terms of scaling back tax incentives to out of state corporations in order to pay for fully funding education.

Peter has ideas for reviving rural Iowa.  He points out, “We must reinvest in our transportation, communications, renewable energy, and housing infrastructure so that living in rural Iowa has the same benefits for families as living in a larger community.”  Steps need to be taken to raise farm incomes, and bring good-paying jobs to rural areas.  Rural revival is a priority which benefits the entire state.

Finally, Peter Leo would like to return to discussing “kitchen table” topics – issues that real people care about.  His Facebook mentions a Rotary club meeting where a sustainable water project in Tanzania was being discussed – a reminder for us at Activate that the Iowa we know is outward-looking and generous.  Also, if on Facebook, be sure to catch the cutest piano recital ever by one of Peter’s kids.


Some press about this campaign: