Croken announces run for Iowa General Assembly in 2022

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Ken Croken

Ken Croken is running for the Iowa General Assembly.

Scott County Supervisor Ken Croken announced Wednesday that he will run for the Iowa General Assembly in 2022 as House District 97 Representative.

The 97th District was created by the once-in-a-decade redistricting process concluded last week. The seat is considered “open” since no current state representative lives in the newly designated district that is comprised roughly of the eastern half of Davenport, including the Village of East Davenport and surrounding neighborhoods.

“When I ran for the Scott County Board of Supervisors in 2018, I committed myself to increasing accountability; improving communication; and, bringing a greater level of transparency to county government,” Croken said Wednesday. “I am proud of what I’ve accomplished but now believe I can contribute even more as a member of the Iowa General Assembly.”

He will focus his campaign and service to the people of Davenport on “middle-class” issues, including jobs, education, health care and social justice.  “As a state representative, I will continue to deliver the same tireless advocacy people have come to expect from me as county supervisor,” Croken said.

Among his top priorities is ensuring a living wage for all working Iowans and their families. Croken noted that the median household income of Davenport families is less than that in comparably sized cities of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Sioux City. Moreover, according to Croken, Davenport has the highest rate of poverty among those same communities.

“Meanwhile workers living in Scott County struggle with an unemployment rate higher than Black Hawk, Johnson, Linn, Polk and many other Iowa counties, including nearby Cedar, Clinton and Muscatine Counties,” he said. “I’ve fought – and won — for jobs at family-sustaining wages against state officials willing to bring underpaid workers from out-of-state in order to avoid paying Iowans fair wages. I will continue that fight going forward.”

He supports full and fair funding of Davenport schools at the same levels as other school districts across the state.

“Our kids deserve no less,” Croken said. “And, with respect to health care, I will do all within my power to ensure that neither this governor — nor any future governor – is allowed to politicize a public health crisis causing needless death, suffering and economic hardship.  Governor Reynolds and the GOP-led state legislature has failed the people of Iowa at every turn by following partisan ambition rather than science.”

He also noted his leadership in opposition to the racial disparity that is the “defining characteristic” of the Iowa juvenile justice system.

“Children of color in Iowa are ten times more likely to be incarcerated than white children for the same juvenile offense,” Croken said. “It’s simply not right and it’s not smart because the increased rates of incarceration drive increased rates of recidivism.  Ultimately, this makes our communities less safe, rather than more safe.  As a lawyer, I know we need to sharpen our focus on crime prevention and law enforcement and we need more community-based solutions that restore youthful offenders to their families, communities and productive lives. If building bigger jails was the smartest path to public safety; it would have worked by now. It has not.”

He is an 18-year resident of Davenport’s eastside, having moved to the city in 2003 to serve as chief marketing and government relations officer for Genesis Health System. Croken is a graduate of the New England School of Law in Boston and St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

In addition to his responsibilities as Scott County Supervisor, he also serves as adjunct faculty at St. Ambrose University and is a member of the Quad Cities River Bandits baseball club ownership group. Ken and his wife, now retired St. Ambrose nursing professor Kathryn McKnight, live in the McClellan Heights neighborhood and have two grown children, one grandson and another on the way.

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