Public Service, Compassion and Empathy are on My 2020 Ballot

Iowans start voting on Monday, Oct. 5, in person and at home by mail.

I’m voting for people who value public service. Who see government as help not as a hinderance. Who have compassion and empathy. I vote for these values because our system and the people we elect are imperfect. Public leaders face difficult decisions, and public leaders without these core values wield power selfishly, diminish our public institutions and enact heartless policy.

Here’s how my ballot, voted in Iowa City precinct 12, will look. 


Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for president and vice president; Theresa Greenfield for US Senate; Rita Hart for US Representative, 2nd District

Each of these folks will back better access to healthcare, public education and science-based solutions to climate change, the raging pandemic and gun violence.


Mary Mascher for State Representative, District 86

You don’t have to talk with Mary Mascher long to get how much she cares, trust that she will return to Des Moines and fight for public education, choice, and working families.

(If I was in another district, I’d be proud to vote for Lonny Pulkrabek, Dave Jacoby, Amy Nielsen or Christina Bohannan)


Lisa Green-Douglass, Royceann Porter, Rod Sullivan for Board of Supervisors, Brad Kunkel for Sheriff, Travis Weipert for County Auditor

With a governor and legislature looking to restrict county and city governments and school boards, it’s a tough time to be a local leader in Iowa. These supervisors have done well with the tools they’ve been allowed.

It’s a tough time to be in law enforcement, and we are rightfully asking tough questions. But Brad Kunkel is the right person to do this for Johnson County. He knows we ask too much of law enforcement and that the traditional tools are too often inadequate. He will continue to advocate for diversion programs and alternatives to jail.

Travis Weipert is running unopposed, but I will proudly cast my vote for him because I know he values his role in empowering voters to exercise that right. Time and again, Weipert has gone to bat for voters in Johnson Country, whether at the state house or the court house.


Yes for retention

I know how I felt when Iowa Supreme Court justices Ternus, Baker and Streit, who along with their colleagues had unanimously decided in Varnum that our state constitution guaranteed marriage equality, weren’t retained following a campaign from the right.

Iowa doesn’t elect judges, and our non-partisan process for selecting them has been eroded with recent changes. Retaining judges unless they make decisions outside of the law or violate ethical rules is how we resist a partisan judiciary.