Republican Congressman David Young of Van Meter was the surprise winner of a GOP Primary in June of 2014 and he’s seeking a second term in the U.S. House this fall. Jim Mowrer of Des Moines is Young’s Democratic opponent this year. Two years ago, Mowrer ran for congress in the fourth district, losing to Republican Steve King.
Mowrer and Young divide along partisan lines on key issues, yet they’ve both emphasized the importance of “bipartisanship.” Mowrer stresses his role as an Iowa National Guard soldier and his work in the Pentagon.
“This has been a very divisive election and, once we get past this election, we need representatives to go to Washington and work in a bipartisan way to get things done,” Mowrer says.
Young touts his work on legislation that addresses problems with the suicide hotline for veterans and addressing sub-standard phone service in rural areas.
“I know how to get things done and you have to work across the aisle to do that,” Young says. “If you just pick up these partisan fights, not a lot gets done. You can’t override a veto.”
During his nearly two years in the House, Young has voted a dozen times to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“It’s falling apart right now,” Young says. “…It is causing people great anxiety and economic hardships.”
Mowrer says the Affordable Care Act has done some important things, like barring discrimination against people with preexisting conditions.
“But, on the affordable front, we do still have some challenges that remain and we need to address those,” Mowrer says. “We need to fix those.”
Mowrer would vote to raise the federal minimum wage.Young says he’d prefer that states set the wage floor, but would vote to raise the federal wage rate if there’s a bipartisan deal in congress. When it come to trade, Mowrer opposes the Trans Pacific Partnership.
“The TPP does not have proper labor and environmental standards in place,” Mowrer says. “It would continue to ship jobs overseas.”
Young supports the TPP, as a means of increasing export markets for ag commodities.
“We can have the best yields out there, right?…But if we have no place to sell out grains, what’s it all about?,” Young asks.
Mowrer has tried repeatedly to link Young with Donald Trump, for example arguing both Young and Trump favor “defunding” Planned Parenthood. Young says he has not endorsed Trump, but will support the party’s presidential nominee.
The third congressional district covers 16 counties in southwest Iowa and includes the cities of Council Bluffs and Des Moines. As of November 1, there were more than half a million “active” voters in the district and Republicans held a narrow voter registration edge of about 8500.