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Eric South and Jon Coen are running for the Republican nomination in House District 40. Democrat John Forbes currently holds the seat and is running for re-election.

Both South and Coen filled out the surveys over email. You can visit South’s website here and Coen’s Facebook page here.

1. What is the proper role of government:

SOUTH: To maintain order and make available opportunities for citizens to reach their full potential, not to control their lives.

COEN: To protect the rights of the individual

2. What issues do you consider non-negotiable:

SOUTH: The sanctity of human life and God’s definition of marriage.

COEN: Any issues revolving around Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

I will fight any government intervention in our religion, economy, and personal life. The government should be limited to a bare minimum.

3. What concerns do you have about how the COVID-19 situation was handled by the government, if any:

SOUTH: I feel the government was too quick to react and the measures used were to meant to scare us, more than protect us. The advisors to the President, I believe, had alternative motives behind their recommendations. I do believe Governor Reynolds, did the best she could with the information she had at hand.

COEN: I was one of the first ones on record of opening up our economy and voluntarily quarantining of the elderly and those with a compromised immune system. The repercussions of shutting down the economy are far worse than a virus that has killed less than the flu. We have over 22 million people out of work in the United States. Those people might not have a job to go back to and to be able to provide for themselves and their families. Government is taking away our civil liberties and violating our Bill of Rights. As people are locked in their homes we could be facing a suicide spike, drug overdose hike, severe depression etc. Our medical community should be highlighting how to boost our immune system to fight off viruses. Instead, we are being pumped with fear and left with no rights. It must STOP NOW!

4. At what point do you believe a human life is guaranteed the legal protections of being an American citizen and what would you do to ensure those protections are provided?

SOUTH: Life begins with a heartbeat and that is when they become an American citizen.

COEN: As someone who is adopted this issue means a lot to me. I believe life begins at conception and that every life is precious and should be protected. Mothers should be informed of other options. Our churches and community should be stepping up in this time of need for these confused and stressed mothers. I would introduce a bill to punish doctors who perform abortions when not medically necessary. No taxpayer money would go to funding of any clinic who performs abortions.

5. Would you support a religious freedom and restoration act in the state of Iowa?


COEN: Government has no right to be involved in any religion whatsoever. People should have the freedom to practice their religion in any way as long as no harm is done to any individuals. 

6. Would you support mandatory E-Verify in Iowa?


COEN: Government should not be able to mandate anything to business owners. However, that being said business owners have an obligation to hire American workers. If you are a citizen of this country and are an employer that hires illegals you should be ashamed of yourself. I would promote and highlight boycotting that business via the power of the dollar. 

7. Would you support banning traffic cameras, why or why not?

SOUTH: Yes, because I believe they are unconstitutional.

COEN: Absolutely. Traffic cameras violate our right to privacy and our right to travel. These cameras don’t stop any illegal activity but act as a revenue collector. Why is taxpayer money being used to purchase, install, and maintain these cameras? I would introduce or be a co-sponsor on a bill banning traffic cameras in a heartbeat. 

8. What, if any, measures would you support to curb gun violence?

SOUTH: I do not believe any changes need to be made to the current gun laws. Gun violence starts in the heart of the person that kills and no law can change a man’s heart.

COEN: Amend the Iowa Constitution with the 2nd Amendment and allow constitutional carry and crime rates would drop so fast. Good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns period.

9. What percent of the state’s budget do you believe should go toward education?

SOUTH: 40%.

COEN: 25%

10. Would you support education savings accounts?


COEN: Yes. Parents who choose to send their kids to private school get an unfair shake. Education saving accounts, charter schools, and voucher programs I would be open to hearing. Government should not have a monopoly on our education.

11. What do you think of Iowa’s current tax structure?

SOUTH: Needs to be abolished and we need to go to a flat consumption tax.

COEN: Too high and too complicated. I am for the elimination of the state income tax and estate tax. We should own the fruits of our labor. Money is best spent in the private sector where creation and innovation thrive. The less money in the public sector the better for all citizens. I am also for cutting dramatically of property taxes as well.

12. Are there any state regulations you would like to see removed?

SOUTH: Yes. I believe that instead of passing new laws every session, one session every five years, should be dedicated to reviewing past laws to see if they are still needed and/or relevant.

COEN: Removal of Licensure regulations would be a main priority.  Repeal certificate-of-need requirements for new hospital construction and for moving companies as well.

13. What are your views on climate change and what, if anything, should the government’s role be in addressing climate change?

SOUTH: Climate change is a lie and it is meant to control the populace.

COEN: I believe climate change has been going on throughout human history. Naturally it occurs hence ice ages and warming periods. The climate fluctuates between cold and hot. CO2 is key to life on Earth. Government should not have any role because there is nothing to address. I am opposed to government mandates and subsidies. 

14. Do you support expanding use of medical marijuana? Would you support recreational use of marijuana?

SOUTH: I would support medical marijuana through a prescription. I do not support recreational marijuana use.

COEN:  I am for the expansion of medical marijuana. If a plant made by God can be used to heal ailments or relieve pain I am in favor. I am for the decriminalization of marijuana. Government has no right to dictate what one puts in their body. If no harm is being done to other individuals I have no problem with it. I don’t think a kid who made a mistake by smoking marijuana should have their life thrown away due to inhalation of a plant. Jesus spoke of forgiveness and our criminal justice system should be more forgiving of those who have partaken in marijuana. 

House District 40:

Author: Jacob Hall