Iowa gubernatorial candidates face off in lonely debate – Iowa State Daily

Republican incumbent Kim Reynolds and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deidre DeJear clashed over issues of reproductive rights and student loan forgiveness in the only debate before the election.

Reynolds, a native of Iowa, has been in office since 2017. Reynolds is the first woman to be elected governor of Iowa. DeJear, born in Mississippi, moved to Iowa to attend Drake University. DeJear started Caleo Enterprises, a management consulting firm that aims to help small businesses grow.


Reynolds said the state should do everything possible to protect the life of the unborn child, referring to a 2018 law she signed that bans abortions at six weeks.

Reynolds mentioned pilot programs focused on maternal health care, shelter laws, providing contraceptives without a prescription, and ensuring people know about adoption as an option when having conversations about abortions.

“Over the summer, when SCOTUS decided to relinquish its responsibility to protect women’s right to choose states, it became increasingly clear that governors were on the front lines of protecting this right,” said said DeJear.

DeJear shared the story of her mother who died three days after giving birth to her sister. If elected governor, DeJear said she would not criminalize women or medical providers for performing abortions.

“I believe it’s undemocratic and irresponsible of us to try to black-and-white dictate this situation that has endless variables when it comes to pregnancy,” DeJear said. “I want to codify Roe in our state.”

Reynolds asked DeJear whether or not she supported late-term abortion. DeJear said she believes her personal beliefs and the opinions of any other politician should not be in the doctor’s office.

Student Loan Forgiveness

Reynolds said student loan forgiveness is wrong because debt forgiveness does nothing to address the cost of education and encourages poor borrowing practices.

“It’s not true; it’s not fair, people are upset,” Reynolds said. “There were Democrats, as well as Republicans, who disagreed with the program that [President Joe Biden] implement.”

Reynolds said she, her husband and her children all paid off their college debt, even though that meant her children worked while in college.

DeJear said she believes investing in education goes beyond K-12. She mentioned the shortage of educators and healthcare workers, and how helping Iowans afford those degrees creates a pathway to accessible higher education while helping with shortages.

Reynolds mentioned community colleges and apprenticeship programs as ways to avoid the high cost of college education.

Child care and taxes

While discussing a recent state budget surplus, DeJear said the excess money should be used to serve the people of Iowa by investing in child care, education and health resources. mental health – areas where his supporters believe the state has failed.

Reynolds spoke about increasing child care capacity and his vision for school choice as a way to improve the lives of Iowans while maintaining a surplus.

“We’ve been able to not only cut taxes, but make record investments in K-12 education, broadband, child care and housing, and on top of that we’ve always had a surplus,” Reynolds said.

DeJear said it’s important to use taxpayer dollars effectively to create a system that works for low-to-moderate income Iowans and create economic sustainability.

“We can brag about our surplus – we have to think at what price,” DeJear said. “We see the deterioration of our education system; we ask our systems to do more with much less. This surplus is proof that Iowa taxpayers’ money won’t work; it is simply hoarded.

DeJear said she believes effective taxation will improve the lives of Iowans, which means investing more in child care, mental health resources and education.

“We want to make sure that we’re maximizing every one of your taxpayer dollars to work for you,” DeJear said.

Reynolds said she was proud to invest $500 million in child care, adding that she had expanded child care to 10,500 spaces statewide.

She said she recently gave a business incentive grant. This aims to incentivize businesses to set up daycare centers on site, or to have local daycare centers reserve openings for businesses. Reynolds said this will serve as a recruiting tactic for businesses and create stability for child care providers.

Reynolds said she wanted the Iowans to get their money back if the state overpaid.

“We’re always looking for ways to help working families keep more of their hard-earned money,” Reynolds said. “We want to continue to be competitive. We want businesses and people to stay in the state, and a fiscal environment is a big reason for them to do that.

Reynolds said that at a time when inflation is at its highest level in 40 years, tax increases would not be appropriate.

“I’m very proud of the fact that I was able to sign off on my third tax cut since taking office,” Reynolds said. “We were taxiing like a blue state; we weren’t competitive.

DeJear said rather than cut taxes, the government is now in a position where it should invest in Iowa.

“I think these tax cuts were short-term, especially in the midst of a pandemic, in the midst of social unrest and a derecho,” DeJear said. “I believe it was time for us to invest our resources and maximize the potential of the Iowa dollar.”

Mental Health

During her tenure, Reynolds shifted funding for mental health from a county property tax to a state allocation, which she said would increase access to mental health resources.

DeJear said as she visited schools and spoke with people on the campaign trail, people were asking for better access to mental health resources. DeJear said the lack of available beds and mental health workers is preventing Iowans from getting the mental health care they need.

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