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State Sen. Dave Rowley is one of two Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for Iowa Senate District 5. Here are his answers to our legislative survey for Republican candidates involved in primary…



Describe your worldview and how that will influence you as a legislator:  I believe the United States of America is the greatest nation in our present world.  The principles upon which it was founded are to be jealously guarded.  Our position has weakened as other countries such as China, Russia and the Iran have moved strategically to take advantage of the mistakes we have made.  This is the geopolitical scene in which we live.  My focus as an Iowa senator is Iowa and specifically our NW Iowa – what we can do to encourage and even incentivize positive growth in our economy, businesses, housing and workforce.  Iowa has traditionally been a great place to raise a family.  Although we have a smaller and generally older average age population, we have many young families who are raising their families in our communities.   This motivates me to protect and build on our values and resources to ensure we have a strong future for our citizens. 

In your opinion, what are the three most pressing issues the legislature should address:  

The first issue the legislature tackled was lowering the state income tax to 3.9% and exempting retirement income from state income tax.  The pressing issue here is to go further by being prudent in budgeting and managing expectations.  

Second is the workforce issue.  Covid-19 erased so many jobs in a short time.  This rebuilding of the workforce is coming.  I am working with legislators to speed it up by supporting new approaches to childcare, licensing requirements and collaboration among businesses and our colleges.  

Third – the eminent domain issue with regards to carbon pipelines.  Eminent domain is to be used for “condemnation of private property for public use.”  I and others question the use of eminent domain with private carbon pipelines.  Public use is to “promote the public convenience and necessity,” but in the case of carbon pipelines and farmers’ private property I fail to see how this fits.  What public convenience or good is achieved for the farmers or the general populous?  This needs to be forefront in the conversation, I am against the use of eminent domain in this situation, and I believe we need to propose legislation to fix it.

Feel free to explain your ideal tax policy/policies for Iowa (included in this section in order to allow for as much flexibility as possible):  After passing the most ambitious Tax Reform Bill in Iowa’s history this session you would think we would be slowing down, but we are looking ahead to go further.  I believe we can go further.  I originally ran on lowering the state income tax to zero, and I am still in favor of that.  As a business person this can’t be accomplished without prudent planning and budgeting.  I believe this legislature can set the goals for helping all Iowans with additional tax relief.

Have you or will you sign The Big Family Pledge:  Yes


Do you believe the government should force consumers to buy a product:  No

Do you believe the government should force retailers to sell a product:  No

Do you support reforming or eliminating Iowa’s Certificate of Need laws: I believe in working with hospitals and stakeholders to reform the current process. 

Do you support periodic reviews of all government licenses and boards to ensure they’re necessary:  Yes


Do you support the Protect Life Amendment to the Iowa Constitution:  Yes.  I am appalled at Colorado’s new law regarding late-term abortions.  I am also appalled by the recent Supreme Court leakage of a draft regarding Roe vs Wade opinions.  For the continued future of our United States of America, the Supreme Court must not be politicized.  

When do you believe life begins and at what stage does it deserve protections under the law: I personally believe in the science that once conception occurs life begins.  I was encouraged by and supported the heartbeat bill.  


Would you support universal Education Savings Accounts for Iowa families:  I am open to considering this.  This could be a very good approach to offering all families choices and for different personal reasons.  It deserves a robust debate.

Do you believe obscene materials and pornographic materials belong in public school libraries:  Absolutely not.

In what grade should schools begin providing instruction to students on sexual orientation and gender identity:  I believe this instruction belongs first and foremost within the family.  

Would you support a bathroom bill in Iowa, which states biological males use the boys’ bathroom and biological females use the girls’ bathroom:  Yes


Should gender identity be stripped out of the Iowa Civil Rights code I do not believe gender identity rises to the standards of gender or race in the Iowa Civil Rights code, therefore I see no reason why it is included.  

Should Iowa make it illegal for minors to undergo sex-change surgery and treatments:  Yes

Should Iowa schools/teachers ask students for preferred pronouns:  No

Should Iowa require schools/teachers to share a child’s “preferred pronoun” and/or “gender identity” with the child’s parent(s)/guardian(s):  No.  Preferred pronouns do not belong in a school setting period.  

Do you support banning conversion therapy (making it illegal for a parent to take a child to a health care professional to talk about confusion as it relates to sexual orientation or gender identity)?  I support banning the process of conversion therapy on minors.  Children under legal age do not have the life experiences to make a truly informed decision that is objective and free of societal pressures.  I am not in favor of banning any parent from seeking professional help for their child for counseling as that is a parent’s duty to help their child.  However, unless there are externalities or specific physiological anomalies a child must work through, I am against a life-changing trans surgery unless that person is of adult age, not a minor.   


Do you believe any institution – whether private or governmental – should be able to mandate a vaccination?   No.  I believe in our constitutionally-protected individual rights.   

How could the Iowa legislature have handled the COVID pandemic differently?  I believe our Governor did a magnificent job under the most difficult of situations.  While there is discussion about limiting the use of emergency powers, our Governor approached the Covid-pandemic with discernment, balance and resolve.  The Iowa legislature followed the Covid-19 numbers in the state and the effect of the closures on our schools and economy.  There were discussions between the legislature and the governor’s office.  That being said, legislation takes time.  The Governor used emergency proclamations to make immediate changes when warranted to respond to the pandemic.

Do you believe Iowa should reform the Governor’s emergency powers?  It is a discussion that many want to have.  If this is changed, we must be careful as to how it is to be changed and possible outcomes.  If this is pursued it deserves rigorous debate for discernment.


Are there any issues of disagreement you have with the Republican Party of Iowa platform from 2018?  No

What improvements, if any, would you make to Iowa’s voting laws to ensure elections are fair and full of integrity?  I would eliminate “same-day” voter registration and voting at the polls.  This can be easily abused if a person has out-of-state residences plus a residence in IowaThey could potentially vote in both places.   An example would be college students, registering and voting on election day.  I think Secretary of State Paul Pate has done a great job, but I believe we should eliminate “same day” registration and voting at the polls so this isn’t abused.


Rowley is running against Dave Dow, who previously responded to our survey. You can read his answers here.

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