Voters in Iowa Senate District 30 will have a chance to select their next senator on March 19. Republican Walt Rogers is running for the seat.
Rogers actually lost to Jeff Danielson in 2008 for the seat when it was District 10. Danielson had 16,103 votes in that election while Rogers registered 16,081.
In 2010 Rogers won a seat in the Iowa House, where he served for eight years before losing re-election in 2018. Rogers was chair of the House Education committee and has a couple advantages over his Democrat opponent in this race.
“Any legislator who starts out as a freshman, it takes them a while to get their feet underneath them and understand the process,” Rogers said. “I was there for eight years and I’ve been chair of Education and I know how things work and have relationships with people. I have important relationships with people who are making the major decisions. I can have good influence for Black Hawk County.”
Which is another advantage for Rogers. The Iowa Senate is dominated by Republicans. Democrats hold just 17 seats in the chamber.
“Black Hawk county is pretty much represented by all Democrats right now,” Rogers said. “This is a good opportunity to get back in there and represent smaller, smarter government values.”
The Iowa Senate has many strong conservative Republicans. The Democrats have little, if any influence, in the chamber.
“That’s what I’ve been telling people,” Rogers said. “If you really want good representation, you need to elect me to be in the majority caucus in the Senate because, quite frankly, the minority party can’t do anything. If you want any influence at all you need to be in the majority party right now. Black Hawk county has all Democrats and they really have no power to do anything. They have no voice.”
Rogers pointed to his record for the University of Northern Iowa and what he accomplished in the House Education committee.
“People in Des Moines have told me ‘Walt, the stuff you did in the Education committee the past two years far surpasses any Democrat from Black Hawk county in the last 16 years,'” Rogers said. “I’m proud of my record and will continue to tell people about that.”
Distinctions in the race are clear, according to Rogers.
“This guy makes Jeff Danielson look like a conservative Republican,” he said. “He is pretty far out there. This guy couldn’t be more of a stark contrast of who I am. He is a far, far-left socialist, he’s given to Bernie Sanders 14 times. It’s clear that he is somebody who supports the Green New Deal.”
Rogers has solid relationships with Republicans in the Iowa House as well. He could be key to bringing the House along on some of the Senate’s more conservative priorities.
“It just so happens that the House doesn’t have as clear of a majority as the Senate does,” Rogers said. “Anything we pass in the Senate has to go over there and our colleagues understand why it’s important to do some of the legislation we’re trying to do. It’s a lot about relationships with what happens down there at that building. I have good relationships with them.”