An insurance agent from Spirit Lake will fill a vacancy in the Iowa Senate. Unofficial results from Tuesday’s special election in senate district one show Republican Dave Rowley defeated his Democratic opponent by a wide margin. This is Rowley’s first run for elected office.
“However, I served as chair of Dickinson County Republicans and co-chair over the last 10 years,” he said tonight, “so that helped a lot to get acquainted with the political scene.”
Rowley will be sworn into office on January 10th, the first day of the 2022 legislative session. Reducing and ultimately eliminating the state’s personal income tax is a goal Republican Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Senate’s Republican leader have embraced.
“The State of Iowa is probably in one of the best positions it could ever be to at least take a hard look at that,” Rowley said during an interview with Radio Iowa.
Rowley said as a resident of northwest Iowa, he sees first hand some of the migration South Dakota gets because it does not have a state income tax.
“I do know that once people reach retirement age, they look very hard at their state income tax,” Rowley said. “South Dakota seems to have a fairly good model and it does appeal to a lot of people.”
Rowley will replace Republican Zach Whiting. who resigned from the state senate to take a job in Texas. Rowley will represent Clay, Dickinson, Lyon, Osceola and Palo Alto Counties for the next year. He intends to seek reelection in 2022, but in a new state senate district that includes his home county of Dickinson as well as Clay, Emmet, Kossuth and Winnebago.
“My experience in insurance…in the last 30 directly in western Iowa, I have some very good friends that are in those counties,” Rowley said, “and I’ll definitely be reconnecting with a lot of the people that I know.”
Rowley, who has lived in Spirit Lake since the 1990s, works at an insurance agency in Estherville. Unofficial results show Rowley received 75 percent of the votes cast in the special election. Democrat Mark Lemke, a retired businessman who also lives in Spirit Lake, received 25% of the vote.