Stewart Iverson

A long-time legislator who’s not seeking another term in November is offering some advice as he exits the General Assembly.

State Representative Stewart Iverson of Clarion is a former state senator, the former Republican leader in the senate and a former chairman of the Iowa Republican Party.

“I heard this from another politician that has a long term in the state of Iowa that said, many years ago, ‘It doesn’t matter how you vote. It’s how you explain it,’ and the sad thing is it’s true,” Iverson told his House colleagues this morning during a “farewell” speech. “And I’ve also told people probably 90 percent of politics is perception.”

Iverson was first elected to the Iowa House in 1990 and he was elected to the Iowa Senate in 1994. Iverson served nearly a decade as majority leader in the Iowa Senate.

“That is the longest-serving majority leader in the history of Iowa in the senate, so that’s my claim to fame. I’ve got a record nobody else has. If you want longevity in the legislature, don’t be a leader. Your friends come and go and your enemies just mount up,” Iverson said, laughing at that point along with his colleagues in the House, “because you can’t please everybody and don’t try. Do what you think is right.”

Iverson did not seek reelection to the Senate in 2006 after being voted out as the Senate’s Republican leader near the end of the 2006 legislative session. In 2010, Iverson ran for a House seat and defeated a Democratic incumbent. The new maps for House seats draw according to new census data threw Iverson into a district with two other Republican incumbents and he chose not to seek reelection.

“This is somewhat unique for me,” Iverson quipped this morning. “It’s only the third time I’ve retired from the legislature.”

Iverson, who is 61 years old, was a school board member for 15 years in Dows. He has served a combined total of 19 years in the Iowa House and Senate.

AUDIO of Iverson’s farewell speech.