We’re now 16 days away from the Iowa primary. The hottest race in the state is the Democratic primary for the U. S. Senate.
But we’re not focused on that this morning.
This year’s redistricting created an interesting situation for the 41st State Senate District.
Under the new district lines, it covers parts of Cedar, Muscatine and Scott counties.
That includes north Davenport.
Senator Jim Lykam currently holds the seat, but he decided not to run again.
It’s a rare race with contested primaries for both parties.
Here are the Republicans vying for their party’s nomination.
Alan Weets and Kerry Gruenhagen.
The Democratic Party’s primary pits two women running against each other: Nikole Tutton and Deb Vandergaast.
We will take a closer look at the race for the Democrats.
Nikole Tutton was born and raised in Waterloo. She has a bachelor’s degree in international business from Wartburg College. She now lives in Mechanicsville.
Tutton owns a human resource consulting firm called the Iowa Talent Consortium. It specializes in federal compliance regarding equal employment opportunities and the Americans with Disabilities Act. She worked as a certified application counselor to help people sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Tutton served on the Medicaid Expansion Planning Committee. She spends a lot of time supporting the Iowa Autism Society and has a son who is autistic.
Deb Vandergaast lives in Tipton. She has an associate’s degree in nursing from Southeastern Community College and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Iowa.
Professionally, Vandergaast spend the last 17 years as the CEO of a child care center for kids with special needs. Before that she worked as a registered nurse for a home health care company and for St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids.
Vandergaast has some government experience. She’s the chair of Tipton’s Zoning Board of Adjustments, and is on the Cedar County Democrats Central Committee.
This race with contested primaries for the Democrats and Republicans makes it one of the more interesting choices on the ballot.
Nikole Tutton and Deb Vandergaast, the two Democrats running for the Iowa State Senate in District 41, join us for a conversation.
“We’re losing a lot of young people because of the workforce crisis,” Tutton said. “We need to – instead of volleying against the GOP – we need to be … more proactive, more progressive.”
“What I think we need to do is do better at recruiting candidates and just recruiting people to be involved in the party, because I think a lot of people felt disenfranchised,” Vandergaast said.
Hear what else they have to say in the video.
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