Sen. Jerry Behn, R-Boone, the minority leader in the Iowa Senate, was in Marshalltown Tuesday in support of candidate Jane Jech in what he calls a pivotal Senate District 36 race on Nov. 6.
"This is an incredibly important district," Behn said. "We want to help Jane be successful."
Behn said this past legislative session saw a lack of progress on true commercial property tax reform and education reform due to the blocking of the Senate Democrats, including Jech's opponent, incumbent Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center.
"It's all because of the obstruction in the Senate," Behn said.
Behn said the Senate Democrats' commercial property tax plan of having it triggered only through possible economic growth would not be good for business owners since these owners need stability.
"The reality is, it wasn't that good of a plan," Behn said. "We had a chance at true property tax reform, and it got blocked by the Senate Democrats."
Behn feels both property tax and education reform will be brought up again next year, and he is pushing to move the 26-24 advantage the Democrats currently have in the Senate to the Republican side. This is why the Jech-Sodders race is so key for both parties.
Behn said Jech's work ethic was evident in her ability to win the June primary over Larry McKibben.
"She's right on the issues, and she's an extremely hard worker," Behn said.
Sodders said he was not in favor of the commercial property tax reform plan put forth by the Republicans in the Senate since it would shift the tax burden back on property owners.
"We're not going to push the burden back on the residential property owners," Sodders said.
He feels he's made himself available to the voters during his first term as senator.
"I think I've done a very good job of reaching out to the voters," Sodders said.
Behn was also in town to speak at the Marshall County Republicans annual pork chop fundraiser Tuesday night, which featured local candidates as well as Congressional candidate Ben Lange and State Auditor Dave Vaudt.
Behn has served in the Senate since 1996 and is running against Democrat Shelly Stotts, of Boone, in Senate District 24 this fall.