Depending on whether Republican Mary Ann Hanusa retires, House District 16 is either an open seat, or a re-match of the 2016 race between her and Democrat Steve Gorman. Steve Gorman trained as an electrician, but has worked 24 years as a firefighter in Council Bluffs, earning many lifesaving awards. He is a proud member of the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 15. Steve is a community volunteer. His wife is a teacher in the Council Bluffs schools, and they have two grown children.
Republican Mary Hanusa has served in the House since 2011, and has been a consistent vote against labor (among the poorest labor voting records in the House), in favor of restricting voting rights, against abortion and for defunding Planned Parenthood, and in favor of allowing less time for workers to file discrimination lawsuits. She did vote against the gutting of collective bargaining in the last session, but this was a rare break, since she also voted to restrict workers compensation rights and against allowing counties to raise the minimum wage.
Steve’s number one issue is mental health and the lack of access to quality care. He looks forward to an Iowa where people with mental health needs are treated by a doctor, rather than by a judge. Although he attended both public and parochial schools, he does not favor vouchers (by any name) that pull public money away from the public schools. Steve says, “I’m running for the Iowa House because it’s time for new leadership that will put working families and public schools first again.”
Steve Gorman did surprisingly well in the 2016 election, polling 43% of the vote against Mary Hanusa’s 57%. He polled significantly better than Hillary Clinton in his district. He understands the secret weapon for winning over voters who may have voted for Republicans in the past – knock on their door and talk to them. He thanks his fire fighting buddies for having such a good reputation that people are willing to talk to him at every door he knocks on. This district looks winnable, especially with a solid, hard working candidate in the race.
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