On Monday, James McCullagh announced his candidacy for the Iowa Senate District 38. McCullagh grew up in Cedar Falls and maintains residency at his historic childhood home. He began his educational career at UNI, completed his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan and brought his business back home to Iowa.
When asked why he was running for office, McCullagh responded, “I worked for over a decade in industry and earned a Ph.D. I’ve also started my own engineering business. After all these experiences, I feel as though I have a lot to give. This includes reform in how small businesses are developed, built, and taxed and reform in the universities as well. I love Iowa and this community – my family has invested in it for decades. I think I can make that difference. I’m motivated and I know there are things that can be made better. I have a vision.”
McCullagh’s family has a long and deep history in the community and in Iowa. James grew up in the heart of Cedar Falls. His father was a professor of social work at the University of Northern Iowa for 40 years and left considerable funds for the campus after his passing. His mother, Cheryl McCullagh, who passed in 2015 was a community leader in Cedar Falls and school social worker in Cedar Falls and the surrounding communities.
While he has yet to hold an elected office, McCullagh, a Republican, hopes to build on his background in academia and love for UNI to give him the insight to create change by reforming the university system in a way that benefits students, staff, and the surrounding community. His experience in starting and maintaining his own business shows his entrepreneurial outlook on innovation. McCullagh wants to focus policy around moving small businesses forward in the interest of the greater community.
Democrat State Sen. Eric Giddens currently represents Senate District 38.