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I’ll start with perhaps the most critical question………, why am I running for the Republican nomination for House District 56?  —– I’m running because I’ve always run towards challenges, not away from them.  We now face a challenge to our republic unparalleled in my lifetime.  None of us can back away.

At a young age, I joined the Marine Corps because I wanted to be the first to fight.  Starting at 23, I was honored to lead Marines around the world as an infantry platoon commander.  Later as a company commander and special missions officer, those missions included Cuban refugee operations and counterdrug missions in Colombia.  I served as a Marine for 20 years.  When people thank me for my service, I respond “you’re welcome” then add that I don’t need any thanks because I was exactly where I wanted to be – with my Marines defending our freedoms, just like generations before me.  The Marines’ motto is Semper Fidelis – always faithful.  Before I ever heard those words, I had learned that same ethos from my parents growing up on a farm near Eagle Grove.  The Marines only reaffirmed what I had learned as a child.


My next challenge was being part of a CT team – a team that I ultimately led overseas in response to terrorist attacks in Nairobi, Kenya, Aden, Yemen, along with other locations.  I also led teams to recover U.S. and foreign hostages in Ecuador, the Philippines, Nigeria, the Gaza Strip and Iraq.  Those missions required experts from the intelligence, law enforcement, Special Operations and special weapons community to coalesce as one for mission success.  In 2013, based on those previous successful missions, in which lives were saved and terrorists were brought to justice, I was asked by Congress to publicly testify on the response (or lack of response) to the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya that had occurred on September 11, 2012.  That challenge would ultimately result in my leaving the government, since my testimony did not coincide with the narrative of those in positions of authority in Washington.

This current fight for the very soul of our republic, is not mine alone.  By you participating in this precinct caucus, you too are stepping up to defend and protect our nation.  It is a fight we must win.  There are many elements of that fight, I’ll name only a few.

It is a fight to protect our borders.  I have traveled to over 60 nations; most were not tourist attractions.  I was always asked for my identification, asked about the purpose of my visit, where I was staying and when I was leaving.  Yet our current open borders policy facilitates human trafficking, drug trafficking, fraudulent elections and an assortment of other crimes.  Iowa is not immune from this scourge.  As you’ve seen in the press, many people of unknown origin who have simply walked into our country have been routed through our state.

It is a fight for the unborn, a fight for life itself. My wife and I are adoptive parents.  In our case, two very brave women chose life.  Not only were those babies blessed with life, but we were as well.

Our children are also at great risk when progressives inject perversion into our young people by telling them boys can be girls, boys can dress like girls and use their locker rooms, all while masquerading as social justice.

So, what does this have to do with running for the Iowa House?  Our founders enshrined in our Constitution that any authority not specifically granted to the federal government would be retained by the States.  Over time, our rights have been eroded by those in elected office, as well as the courts, while asserting that the federal government is the first and only option.  In the process, state and local authority diminishes to mere afterthoughts.

Our founders risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to attain our God-given freedoms from an unelected King.  We should do no less when resisting entrenched officials as well as unelected bureaucrats.

At 18, I took an oath to support and defend the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.  Little did I know at the time that I would someday be as concerned about the domestic as the foreign enemies.

As our Pledge reminds us, we are one nation under God.  We are not “under” the government.  The Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights is a list of restrictions on the government, not on we the people.

We the people deserve statesmen who use the political process to enhance the opportunities and wellbeing of all its citizens.  Not politicians who use their office for personal and financial gain.

In closing, we often use the phrase “God bless America.”  Allow me to suggest we all commit to be the instruments of that blessing through our words and actions as we participate in this caucus and exercise our rights and freedoms throughout this election process.

Author: Mark Thompson

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