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In 2021 and 2022 the elephant in the room of the Iowa House of Representatives was the fact that too many spineless Republicans occupied too many seats to get anything meaningful done when it comes to Education Savings Accounts.

Despite a wide margin, Republican leadership decided it didn’t even have near enough votes to bring the bill through committee and then to the floor.

While it may seem that changed in 2023, the reality is it changed in 2022.

The tide turned in June when conservative candidates like Zach Dieken, Helena Hayes, Dean Fisher, Jeff Shipley, Heather Hora, Barb Kniff-McCulla, Dean Fisher and others beat anti-school choice moderate Republicans in primary elections.

Not lost in that conversation is the fact Gov. Kim Reynolds was willing to throw her political clout around and endorse candidates in GOP primaries who were willing to support her ESA efforts. She didn’t have to do that. But she did, and now because she did Iowa families have increased choice in education.

Republicans then enjoyed a pretty solid general election in Iowa. They added seats, but the question was where would the 24 incoming freshmen land on the biggest priority of the session.

It turns out, all 24 of them fell on the right side of the issue in the end. I’ve heard rumblings there was really just one who waffled.

Regardless, they all got there in an incredibly rare display of leadership from newbies.

They all deserve to have their names listed:

Rep. David Young
Rep. Derek Wulf
Rep. Devon Wood
Rep. Hans Wilz
Rep. Mike Vondran
Rep. Charley Thomson
Rep. Mark Thompson
Rep. Luana Stoltenberg
Rep. Brad Sherman
Rep. Matthew Rinker
Rep. Joshua Meggers
Rep. Barb Kniff-McCulla
Rep. Craig Johnson
Rep. Heather Hora
Rep. Bob Henderson
Rep. Helena Hayes
Rep. Austin Harris
Rep. Bill Gustoff
Rep. Cindy Golding
Rep. Dan Gehlbach
Rep. Zach Dieken
Rep. Tom Determann
Rep. Taylor Collins
Rep. Ken Carlson

Hats off to those individuals who were so impressively able to drown out all the noise from the teachers union, school board association and those more concerned with educators than educating students.

This is an incredibly promising start for this freshman class. It’s unlikely they will encounter too many votes more intense than this one in the next couple of years.

We may not know for some time just how much more conservative the Iowa House of Representatives is now with this new class, but we know it is much more conservative than the previous version.

And that is thanks to Republican primary voters doing their job and electing conservatives in primary elections.

Author: Jacob Hall


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