A farmer in northwest Iowa won today’s special election in Sioux County for a seat in the Iowa House. Republican John Kooiker of Boyden is a neighbor of the late Dwayne Alons who easily won reelection to the House on November 4, but died November 29 of cancer.
“I knew that there was going to be a big gap to be filled by somebody and I just felt like there was a call going out to me to respond to the need to fill that gap,” Kooiker told Radio Iowa this evening. “I know that his world view and mine were very similar and so, for that reason, I felt led to throw my hat in the ring.”
Living close to South Dakota, which does not have an income tax, helps puts Kooiker in the column of Republicans who’d like to see the House try to reduce Iowa income taxes.
“Trying to get the state income tax for corporations and businesses lowered would be a good starting point to try to bring in more businesses that provide jobs to people,” Kooiker said.
Kooiker said he’ll be “an advocate for family values” and has an understanding of the state’s agriculture sector because of his stewardship of a 240 acre farm. Kooiker, a 68-year-old Army veteran, is a math and science teacher who decided to take over the family farm in 1975. He has been a substitute teacher in the area and is active in the Gideons organization.
According to unofficial results from the Sioux County Auditor’s office, Kooiker got over 61 percent of the nearly 3400 votes cast in yesterday’s special election. A write-in candidate got almost 25 percent of the vote and the Democratic nominee for the seat, John Buntsma of Orange City, got 13.5 percent.