A 51-year-old Iowa City school board member has decided to challenge Republican Congressman Jim Leach’s reelection bid. Dave Franker, a part-time Lutheran minister and Kirkwood Community College instructor, says he grew up in a republican family in northwest Iowa, but has been a democrat for about 30 years. Franker says he’s running because it’s time for a “new vision” and “new energy” from the second district’s Congressman.Franker says Leach is “an honorable person” and Franker says he “respects” Leach’s long service, but Franker says Leach supports republican congressional leaders who do not pursue — in Franker’s words — Iowa values and Iowa priorities. Franker lives in North Liberty, serves a small Lutheran church in Lockridge and teaches part-time at Kirkwood’s campus in Iowa City.Franker was chaplain at the Iowa Veteran’s Hospital in Iowa City for 16 years. Franker’s campaign will be low-budget. He describes it as “old-fashioned.”Franker says he’ll have campaign volunteers go door-to-door to tout his vision. Franker will not accept contributions from political action committees, and he will not be running what he terms “attack” TV ads or sending out “glossy” pamphlets in the mail. He says his campaign will instead be about ideas and innovation. Franken taught at the University of Iowa for four years; he’s taught at Coe College and in K-through-12 public schools in the Iowa City area. Franker says one of his accomplishments on the Iowa City School Board was a drive to get junk food out of the schools.
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