While I never have missed an opportunity to vote in a presidential or senatorial election, I haven't done much more than that. (Although in college I did make phone calls for Bill Bradley!)
But now, I am a little more active in one particular campaign-- that of Steve Bomgaars-- who is currently running for the Iowa House of Representatives. Yes, he happens to be my father. However, even if he were just another guy from my hometown, I would love to vote for him. And here's why:
1. Steve is committed to Spencer and Northwest Iowa.
My family actually jokes that Dad is "Mr. Spencer" because he always likes to get back home after being away for a couple days. Dad grew up in Spencer and chose to raise his family there. He has been committed to the school district (as a parent, a teacher, and coach) and has worked in various ways with the community college. He loves volunteering (even created a high school course devoted to volunteering around town) and is always around if someone needs a helping hand. He doesn't like to stray too far in case something arises on the city council or in town-- and he might be able to help.
2. Steve is a problem solver.
Oh my. This used to drive me nuts when I was a teenager. My dad was always into "helping me figure things out on my own"--which is not something most teens appreciate (at the time). (And quite frankly, I probably had all the answers already. Jeesh Dad, the nerve of trying to help me!) However, I'm so thankful that I was encouraged to think critically about situations I found myself in, and more importantly, find ways to solve my problems. It takes a lot to really shock my dad, and he tends to keep the big picture the big picture. He also knows that problems can't get solved overnight, but he keeps his eye on the goal and works hard to take small steps of progress along the way.
3. Steve will listen to his constituents and work diligently on their behalf.
Although my dad is a Democrat, he has several Independent and Republican supporters. Those I have talked to say that the main reason they are supporting him is because he has shown an ability to work with people on both sides of the political spectrum for a common goal. My dad is great at listening to both sides of a situation (perfect when he was a High School counselor!) and pointing out common ground. I think he does this in his work as a teacher and also as a city council member. This would be such an excellent trait to bring to the table in Des Moines!
4. Steve has the network in Iowa to 'hit the ground running'.
Without doing any annoying "name dropping" I'll let you know that my dad knows most of the current representatives in Iowa. He also knows US sentators and representatives since he has been so politically active (basically his entire life). While knowing many of these people isn't a must for any new representative, it certainly helps when being newly elected. He definitely will be able to "hit the ground running" as soon as he gets to Des Moines.
5. Steve did not accept a single penny (or thousands of dollars) from special interest groups.
I'm not exactly sure why this is so impressive to me-- maybe because it is virtually unheard of in politics these days. And quite frankly, PAC money is one of the things that really turns me off when it comes to politics (I feel like politicians have to "say the right thing" because a certain group gave them big bucks to say it) From the very beginning, Dad vowed to not accept special interest money. He was even advised against this-- but he remained adamant on his position-- and never backed down. And if there is one thing I've learned through my dad's campaign it's that campaigns cost money. Kind of a lot of money. Money that veteran teachers don't make. So he has relied on good ol' donations-- most of them under $50 each. If anything, I think this really shows where his allegiance lies-- the people, not the special interests.
So.......those of you who know my father are well aware of the fact that he definitely represents one particular political party. However, I feel that he is more focused on the concerns and issues facing the residents of Northwest Iowa than following a particular "political platform". He is eager to work with many different people to make Northwest Iowa (and House District 2) prosperous and a great place to live, work, and raise a family. If I wasn't a resident of a completely different district, I'd vote for this guy in a heartbeat-- and of course I think you should too. :)
Now let's look at some photos of this guy, shall we?
|Politicians are family guys, right?|
|My candidate and his wife of 39 years |
(and yes, she happens to be my mother)
|Looks like a senior photo, doesn't it?|
|Aw, I love this.|
|And a little trip down memory lane--- the daddy Sister & I grew up with. :)|
Will he be "Representative Bomgaars"?
Regardless of how the election turns out, I am proud of my dad for running such an honest and positive campaign. If the results aren't in his favor, he will know he put his best foot forward and did all he could do. And his family & supporters can be so so proud of cheering on someone like that.