What started as just a flippant comment during conversation around a coffee table has turned into a Congressional run in Iowa District 3 for Bill Schafer. Schafer served in the Army for 37 years.
“I’ve been looking at what should be next for me and right around Christmas time I talked to a friend of mine and my wife and we were complaining about politics and the challenges we have with policy and things at that level,” he said. “There was sort of a half-hearted statement ‘well, we need you to run.’ That turned into a little more conversation and a little later in January I said to my wife ‘you know, maybe that is the right next thing for me to do.'”
After exploring things, they agreed it was the right next move.
“The catalyst for my running was watching this state lose two Republican seats in the last election,” Schafer said. “I’ve always thought of Iowa as a conservative kind of state. It’s one of the reasons I like it.”
Schafer wants to return a conservative Republican to the House in District 3 and work towards conservative policies that benefit Iowa as well as America.
His father served in the army and retired as a soldier. They spent a lot of time talking about the reasons to join and Bill decided it was the right thing for him.
“I believe in the country,” he said. “I believe national security is probably the most important reason why we have the federal government. As a young man I enjoyed doing hard things and leading young men seemed to be a good calling for me. It turned out to be instinctively a pretty accurate though on my part.”
Schafer spent 32 years in infantry. Then he served as a director of HR.
“I absolutely loved serving with the soldiers and in particular the infantry soldiers who I had a chance to lead over the course of that time,” he said.
His top issue is national security.
“National security is very complex and obviously the debate on the southern border is the biggest one right now,” he said. “We like to use the word immigration, that’s just not the right term. What’s going on at our southern border is an attack on our sovereignty and we need to stop that.”
Schafer said he wants to secure the border through barriers and providing the resources necessary for border patrol agents.
“And it requires enforcing laws that prevent businesses from hiring (illegal immigrants) and the laws that are being broken,” he said.
A co-top issue for Schafer is respect for the Constitution.
“I don’t know that it’s a common issue that you’re going to see listed on a lot of political websites,” he said. “This is a federal republic and it is a constitutionally based country. For many years now the attacks on the Constitution have bothered me and I think we’re coming dangerously close to eroding the Bill of Rights.”
In addition to defending the First and Second Amendments, Schafer said he wants to promote the 10th Amendment.
“What I mean by that is we should ensure federal solutions go where the Constitution directs, but beyond that we should push for state and local solutions at every opportunity,” he said. “As individuals we should ask ourselves why are we debating that at the federal level? Why do we want the federal government to be in control of that particular topic? So I’m going to start there with everything I look at.”
Schafer said he supports lowering taxes and providing a more predictable economy.
“I like what the President is doing with some of the economic stuff right now,” he said. “So I’ll be mostly a supporter of that.”
He said the federal government should have never gotten involved in health care, but now that it is changes have to be made moving forward.
“As we go forward I think we have to separate routine and cosmetic type health care from catastrophic or pre-existing conditions,” he said. “Those health areas that cause families to go bankrupt. If we separate those two then there might be the ability to have a debate on the catastrophic and pre-existing conditions at the federal level for what the country might continue to support.”
Schafer is counting on social media contacts. He’s rolling out a website in about a week.
“I’ve talked to several business leaders and I am working on connecting with committee chairs,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of work to do on my schedule for that. Then I’m going to be looking for scheduled events to try to attend in each country. I’ll just literally drive around town to town, county to county looking for opportunities to talk to Iowans.”
He only moved into the Congressional District a few weeks ago and is renting a house. He was living in Tipton and commuting to Rock Island Arsenal for work. He had to wait to announce his candidacy until he was no longer on the federal government’s payroll.
“My reason for running in Iowa 3 is I’ve spent 50 years of my life running around the world,” he said. “When I got to Iowa I was still in uniform and my wife and I liked it so much we decided we’d stay and retire here. I thought it only right that I run in the place I intend to retire to in the long term.”