Despite all the issues that surround this year's legislative campaign, Rep. Annette Sweeney, R-Alden, said one dwarfs all of them.
"The concerns, of course, are the economy and how we are going to make the government of Iowa work so we can do a better job with how we allocate our money," she said.
To do that, Sweeney said there needs to be a change in the current leadership at the statehouse, and that includes in both the governor's office and in the Legislature. While insiders in both parties believe the Iowa Senate is safe for Democrats, more uncertainty exists in the Iowa House.
Overall, Sweeney said she is happy with the tone of the campaign and believes there has been a good dialog about the issues in the district.
"I'm really excited. It's a very positive campaign and I appreciate everyone who has helped us, whether it be monetary resources, or time and energy," she said.
This was Sweeney's first term as a legislator and she said she enjoyed getting to know people at the statehouse and was especially excited when people from the district came to see her.
One of her proudest accomplishments was sponsoring a bill for veterans to make it easier for them to get home loans, Sweeney said. That measure passed the Iowa House 100-0 and is now law in the state.
If Republicans regain the majority in the Iowa House, she said she would certainly be able to do even more. Currently, she said the minority party often must play a more defensive role.
"I'm certainly excited about that possibility," Sweeney said. "It would be so nice to take a more active part in policy formation instead of being the ones to react."
Sweeney has described herself as being very passionate about Iowa agriculture and issues relating to the education of Iowa's youth.
Sweeney has spent most of her life in the farmhouse where she currently lives. She has also been a public school teacher and is currently a small business owner. Coming from an agricultural and educational background has given her a good foundation for advocating different positions at the state level, she said.
She has two sons attending Iowa State University and she and her husband were former directors of the Iowa Angus Association.
Contact Ken Black at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org