A sketch of the state, Iowa.

Hello Hawkeye State! Your primary election date is in about a month, so let’s get learning about which candidates in Iowa support sustainability this year! To learn more about Sustainable Politician Project, read our full intro here.

Voting in Iowa

Iowa is a little weird with the polling type because technically you’re supposed to be registered with the political party you expect to vote for, but you’re allowed to change your party affiliation right on election day, right at the polls. (On June 5 this year!) So in the long run, Iowa has an open poll type, and you’re allowed to vote for whomever you’d like, regardless of party affiliation. A candidate only needs a majority to move on to the general election in November.

Things on the ballot this year: U.S. House, governor, other state executives, State Senate, State House, special state legislative, intermediate appellate courts, and local judges. No U.S. Senate this time!

U.S. House of Representatives

Find your district here.

District 1

You have a few great candidates, District 1. Be sure to check out honorable mentions.

Our pick: Thomas Heckroth
  • Democrat
  • Worked for former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin
  • Worked for Obama Administration’s Department of Labor
  • Director of Sustainable Manufacturing and Sourcing for a clothing manufacturing company
  • Summary: Sustainability and renewable energy.

We really like that Thomas was a director of sustainable manufacturing because it shows his dedication to sustainable causes outside of government policy, and that businesses can make good choices without the government telling them too. He also understands that making sustainable choices doesn’t have to hurt us economically, as many believe. Thomas sees clean energy as a job-growing opportunity in Iowa (as it’s already proven to be). He promises to support a full-blown 100% renewable energy transition for our country while understanding that research and investments in clean energy–and opposing any pipeline plans–are steps of getting us to that green goal.

Thomas also realizes that climate change is a global issue, and it must be addressed as one. This is why he supports the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as working with our allies further to address the effects of climate change and work toward prevention. Through an effective EPA, Thomas knows we can keep our own land, water, and air protected and work towards being a world leader in combating climate change.

Other District 1 Candidates:
  • Abby Finkenauer (D) – Abby vows to fight for environmental protection policies for things like clean air & water, and supports the Paris Climate Agreement. She wants to continue Iowa’s lead on wind energy production and has already proven her dedication by fighting to protect the Iowa Energy Center from the fossil fuel industry. However, she has taken money from Dakota Access Dodge Bakken Pipeline and signed a letter that opposed the independent environmental impact assessment, which seems kind of necessary if you’re carrying fossil fuels around in a pipe (source).
  • George Ramsey (D) 
  • Courtney Rowe (D) – Honorable mention! Courtney is a big proponent of sustainable/organic farming and keeping water clean and free of pollutants. She also went to a March for Science, which is pretty cool and shows her dedication!
  • Rod Blum (R) – Incumbent – Your current representative thinks the EPA’s regulations are overstepping and “burdensome.” He also voted for the Keystone XL pipeline (source).
  • Henry Gaff (Green Party) – He opposes the construction of pipelines and wants to keep corporations from harming the environment.


District 2

Our pick: Dave Loebsack 
  • Democrat
  • Incumbent since 2007

Dave is a supporter of all the bings Iowa is doing for the environment already, like being a huge wind exporter, and wants to continue the state’s clean energy development. In Congress, he’s already supported tax credits for wind and solar energy and pushed for biomass developments. He also believes that reducing our carbon emissions will help slow and prevent serious climate change effects, like floods and severe weather. You should note, though, that Dave did vote in support of the Keystone XL pipeline (source).

Other District 2 Candidates:


District 3

You’ve got quite a few great candidates, District 3!

Our pick: Eddie Mauro 
  • Democrat
  • Founder/President/Chief Operating Officer of Universal Insurance Group
  • Summary: Immediate mobilization for climate change.

Eddie understands that aggressive action against climate change needs to happen now. How should we do this? First, Eddie proposes not only a reduction of carbon emissions, but a full-blown elimination. This would happen with an energy transition to renewable sources (which Iowa is already doing well with), switching transportation systems to electric, and transforming agricultural communities to supply diverse crops for regional consumption.

All of this sounds great so far, right? Well stopping our emission output doesn’t go far enough for Eddie. We also need to take care of the harmful gases already eating away at the ozone layer by drawing them down from the atmosphere. He suggests methods like carbon farming, agroforestry, and wetland restoration. These great things only scratch the surface of all Eddie has to offer on the subject, but you can read more about his plans for sustainability on his whitepaper, “The Climate Crisis.”

Other District 3 Candidates:
  • Cindy Axne (D) – Honorable mention! Cindy wants Iowa to lead in sustainable energy. Even better, she worked with the Governor’s Agenda on Clean Energy and the Environment, already showing her dedication to renewable energy with her work bringing the wind industry to your state. Her other environmental concerns extend to soil health, carbon sequestration, and water quality.
  • Pete D’Alessandro (D) 
  • David Young (R) – Incumbent – David is another great option because he’s used his time in office to protect a tax credit for wind energy production. He even wrote a letter (with other congressmen) to fight for the preservation of a wind energy tax credit.
  • Bryan Jack Holder (Libertarian)
  • Paul Knupp (Green Party) – Honorable mention! Paul is a great third-party option for sustainability. He supports significantly reducing carbon emissions and decrease coal production in half by 2020. Paul will also push for a 100% clean-energy America by 2050. He recognizes Iowa as a successful producer of clean energy and will continue to push for your state to lead in wind energy.
  • Mark G. Elworth Jr. (Legal Medical Now) 


District 4

Our pick: J.D. Scholten 

  • Democrat
  • Pro Baseball Player
  • Paralegal

J.D. understands how important farming is to your state, and vows to support small farms while also investing in green energy and conservation. He believes that using more renewable energy sources can improve the health of people, farms, and create more jobs at home. This has already proven true with Iowa’s success with wind energy production. J.D. also discusses the importance of clean water on his campaign site and will work to protect it.

Other District 4 Candidates:
  • Leann Jacobsen (D) – Leann believes in protecting our air, land, and water, and a push towards sustainable agriculture.
  • John Paschen (D) 
  • Cyndi Hanson (R) – Cyndi is another renewable energy supporter and sees how it can benefit the farming communities.
  • Steve King (R) – Incumbent – Your current representative voted for the Keystone XL pipeline and seems like he doesn’t quite believe that carbon emissions impacts climate change, so he doesn’t support regulating these emissions (source).
  • Charles Aldrich (Libertarian)
Categories: 2018 PrimaryStates

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