Wes Breckenridge. (photo from Iowa Legislature)

A state representative from Newton is resigning from the Iowa House after starting a job at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy this summer.

State Representative Wes Breckenridge, a Democrat who’s a retired Newton policeman, was first elected to the Iowa House in 2016. He won reelection in 2018 by a 17.5% margin, but in 2020, Breckenridge finished just 3% ahead of his GOP opponent.

His resignation takes effect this Friday. It means the governor will soon set a date for a special election in the district, which covers Newton and other parts of Jasper County. A special election is being held next week for an open House seat in Ankeny.

Breckenridge was a police officer in Prairie City and Monroe and worked in the Jasper County Sheriff’s office before his 24-year career in Newton’s Police Department. Breckenridge retired in 2017 and has been teaching at DMACC for the past six years.

Breckenridge is now the assistant director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. It’s a state-run institution, located at Camp Dodge in Johnston, and it trains law enforcement personnel, including police, sheriff’s deputies, 911 operators, and jailers.