Can you tell us a little bit about your race? House District #47 geographically covers approximately 100% of Greene County and 75% of Boone County (the eastern tier of 4 townships is in HD#48; that’s Tim Winter Country!). I decided to run in December of 2017 and announced in January of 2018. The current representative decided not to run, so three Republicans emerged on the day of the filing deadline. My opponent on the November ballot is actually a second cousin, though we have never met. He is 27, a veteran, and spent some time in 2016 canvassing and campaigning for the NRA; he was working as a legislative assistant for a Republican legislator when he decided to file to run for office. It is an open seat with no incumbent, which always makes things interesting. 40% of the voting population is the city of Boone, and 60% is “everything else.” That includes cities like Jefferson and Ogden, as well as a lot of corn and soybean fields. I think of this as the HWY 30 corridor (i.e. the Lincoln Highway) between Ames and Carroll. There is a lot of manufacturing in this district, including Scranton Manufacturing and Deere Planters in Paton. DMACC in Boone, as well as the National Guard in Boone are some of the things that I think about when I consider representing this District. My daughter just finished her kindergarten year at Ogden, so while I graduated from East Greene in 1988, we will be raising a little Bulldog! In the end, though, I think it is a truly blended district of both rural and urban interests, which is why I think I would best be able to represent it. I am a farmer and have been paying property taxes since 2006 in both Boone and Greene Counties. We built our home on my grandfather’s home place; he was a Greene County supervisor, and loved every minute of talking with constituents in his district.
What sets you apart from your opponent? Our career paths have been very different. I got my degree from Central College in 1992, did an internship with Tom Harkin’s office in Des Moines, and even had an internship with a Member of Parliament while I was a student (Central College has a strong overseas program) in London. I have done a lot of traveling around the world as part of my education, but always been partial to living in Iowa. I’ve lived in Grinnell, Iowa City, Davenport, Westside and Perry, but I have always thought of the farm where I grew up as “home.” I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to raise my daughter here in Iowa, close to where I grew up and just a mile from my parents. I want to see good jobs return to this area – the success of our schools, health care, and government services depends on it. Iowans need better wages, affordable health care and insurance, and good schools for our children and grandchildren.
Past or present, what political figure or figures do you look up to? Abraham Lincoln. He was (he said!) a simple country lawyer. During the time I was a librarian at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, I kept bumping into different aspects about Lincoln that I was unaware of. Early in his career he took up a case representing railroads, in a dispute between steamboats and railroad interests, which were specific to an incident of a Mississippi riverboat being damaged by a bridge that was built for steam locomotives. I was reminded of this story each time I crossed the Rock Island Arsenal Bridge, on my commute from Davenport to Rock Island. I look up to “Honest Abe” because he had a reputation for delving into the facts, and for being extremely thorough as a lawyer. Lincoln believed strongly in the power of words and argument. He was greatly respected among his peers. I think that most people remember Abraham Lincoln as a gentleman. Lincoln knew the importance of holding the country together, and my goal as legislator will be to reach across the aisle and work to solve problems for Iowans.
What inspired you to run for office? While I always mention on the campaign trail that the deciding factor for me to run was my disappointment in the 2017 legislative session at the Iowa Capitol (gutting Chapter 20, de-funding the Leopold Center, the assault on women’s rights, etc.), I can tell you that in my family, we have always taken a keen interest in government and service. Elections and government have always been discussed at the Weaver dinner table. My parents were and are both active in many local boards – my mother was president of the East Greene School board for a time. My father was on several different local boards – Rippey/Heartland Co-op, Cattlemen’s Association, a nursing home, etc. and my grandfather Lee Dorris was a Greene County Supervisor. My great-grandfather, Royal Higgins, represented Greene County at the State Capitol in the 1925-1927 session. I was taught at an early age that service to your community is important, and I see this as an opportunity to serve Iowans.
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself that we wouldn’t find on your website? I have something in common with David Bowie, Mila Kunis and Jane Seymour; we each have heterochromia (different colored eyes)!
Lastly, what’s your opinion of Steve King? I was particularly disappointed when Mr. King chose to display a flag of the Confederate States on his desk. Iowa sent more soldiers to fight in the Civil War, per capita population, than any other state in the Union. Rippey, my hometown, is named after Robert Rippey. Mr. Rippey was a Greene County Judge who lead a group of Greene County men and boys as a Captain for the Union Army in the Civil War. He died fighting to preserve our Union and our United States. I believe that Iowans are much more positive and have a much better respect for ourselves and our immigrant ancestors than our current representative seems to have. I have met JD Scholten; his youth, expectations, knowledge of law and compassion will prove him to be a much better representative in the U. S. Congress. I look forward to the day when Iowans of this district are represented by Mr. Scholten.
Learn more about David Weaver at the links below: