The chairman of the tax-writing committee in the Iowa House has abruptly announced he is not seeking reelection.
State Representative Tom Sands, a Republican from Wapello, submitted the paperwork to run for reelection three months ago. He cleared primary voting earlier this week to qualify for the November ballot, but Sands announced this morning he’s withdrawing.
“I was contemplating not running for reelection this winter, then decided to go forward and run one more time and, if the voters sent me back, would run two more years,” Sands told Radio Iowa.”But after making that decision this winter, I just felt — the entire time after that — that I had made the wrong decision.”
After 14 “good years” in the legislature, Sands said his heart just wasn’t in another race.
“It is time,” Sands said. “It is time for me to close this chapter and open another one and give someone else the opportunity to have the experience that I have had.”
Sands, who is 61 years old, is not leaving the legislature for health reasons. Sands is a former banker and real estate appraiser. He is looking for a new job.
“It is definitely not retirement,” Sands said. “I am too young to retire, don’t want to retire, but it is hard to secure employment when I’m in Des Moines six months out of the year.”
Sands will serve out the remainder of his term, which ends when the next legislative session begins in January of 2017. Sands has been representing House District 88. The district includes all of Louisa County and most of the rural parts of Des Moines and Muscatine Counties. Republicans in those counties will hold a special nominating convention to select a candidate for the House seat. No date has been set yet for that convention.
Sands has been the only candidate in the district. He had no opposition in Tuesday’s Republican Primary and no Democrat has filed the paperwork to run in the district either.