Iowa House District 88 is a conservative district. It should be a dark shade of red come November. And with that in mind, it should be sending a conservative to the Iowa House of Representatives.
Conservative candidate Helena Hayes is challenging Republican State Rep. Dustin Hite for the seat. Hite has proven to be a thorn in the side for the conservative cause in Des Moines as chair of the Iowa House Education Committee — a position given to him by Speaker Pat Grassley.
Hite has been one of the biggest roadblocks to school choice for Iowa families desperately finding a way out of a school that is not right for their child.
In 2021, Hite called Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Students First Scholarship proposal controversial. In 2022, he is vocally opposing Reynolds’ attempt at expanding educational freedom and opportunity across the state.
In fact, he said he wished he had the power to single handily kill the bill.
“I would say this, I know that on statewide radio, I was called some names because I was the guy standing in the way of this. I’m flattered for people to think that I could stand in the way of a bill, um, I wish I had that power — I don’t. The support was not there in my Education Committee,” Hite said.
Keep in mind as chair of the Education Committee, he does have the power to kill a bill on his own.
And, if Hite really wanted to let people know where the Republicans on the House Education Committee stood on the issue, he could have brought it to the committee for a vote. But he didn’t.
Instead, it had to be moved out of his committee and into another committee for it to receive a committee vote.
That isn’t the only concerning position Hite has taken when it comes to education. In 2021, after a bill that would’ve required school bathrooms to be used based on biology rather than “gender identity,” Hite spoke against it.
“I’ve got a couple of bills that deal with that issue in my committee and I haven’t assigned them a subcommittee yet,” Hite said. “And the reason I haven’t assigned them a subcommittee is not because I don’t understand the issues of the proponents of those bills, but I also understand the issues on the other side of those bills. And I think that when we talk about topics like this, we have to be extremely careful that what we are doing does not come across as hateful. And that’s always what I’m concerned on these particular issues.
“So, um, those bills have not been assigned a subcommittee in my committee and I don’t necessarily believe that that’s probably going to happen any time soon.”
Of course, it wasn’t long after he criticized the bathroom bill that that part of Iowa saw controversy strike when a teenage biological female was allowed to use the Pella Aquatic Center topless because she identified as a boy. And parents have reached out to The Iowa Standard due to issues with the school bathroom and locker room this school year.
Yet Hite believes bills like the bathroom bill, which simply states biological boys must use the boys’ bathroom and biological girls must use the girls’ bathroom could come across as “hateful?”
I would wager 80 percent of the voters in Iowa House District 88 would agree that school bathrooms should be used based upon biological sex rather than “gender identity.” Not because Hite’s constituents are hateful, but because they’re rational.
The reality is, considering what happened in Loudon County (Virginia) to two female students in a school bathroom, it isn’t hateful to require a biological basis for bathroom use — it’s prudent and it provides protection.
Never mind the fact Hite has failed to earn the endorsement of supporters of medical freedom (though it stands to reason considering he voted against medical freedom earlier this session).
He is also actively standing in the way of educational freedom for Iowa families. Families who simply want to seek better educational opportunities for their children. Families who want to exercise the freedom that is supposedly promised in the Republican Party platform — yet not being given because of Republicans.
The bottom line is there is only one choice in this Republican primary and it is Helena Hayes. She is someone passionate and involved because she is focused on protecting the next generation — not compromising on whether a little girl should have to use the bathroom stall next to a 40-year-old man who thinks he is a woman out of fear someone somewhere might think she’s “hateful.”
Hayes is in touch with the average Iowan. Hite isn’t.
We would encourage voters in Iowa House District 88 to reject two more years of a moderate representing a conservative portion of the state in Des Moines. We’d encourage them to vote for Helena Hayes for Iowa House.
She will stand with Iowa parents and students, not the teachers’ union and education lobbyists.