In the Nov. 3 general elections, incumbent Cecil Dolecheck will run against Democratic challenger Chris Adcock in the race for the Iowa House of Representatives 24th District. Dolecheck has served eleven terms in the Iowa House of Representatives.
Dolecheck resides in Mount Ayr, where he was born and raised and graduated from Mount Ayr Community School. He attended Iowa State University before returning to the family farm.
He serves on several committees, including Education Chair, Ed Budget, Labor, and Human Resources.
He has served as Assistant Majority Leader of the Iowa House, president of the Pork Producers, and county Farm Bureau. He served as the director and president of Farmers Cooperative of Afton, Arispe, Creston, Osceola, Mount Ayr, and Macksburg. He also served as a member of the Sherriff’s Posse and a 4-H leader.
Dolecheck has concentrated heavily on the education arena. He said going into session two years ago, one of his main priorities was to extend the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) Fund, which provides funding to support school infrastructure.
“We worked very closely with the majority and the minority parties in reworking that a little bit to provide some additional taxpayer security,” said Dolecheck. “While at the same time,maintain a very high level of funding for infrastructure for our rural schools and schools across the state of Iowa.”
Dolecheck said even with the shortened session; there were extensive discussions and work done on the disciplinary issues in the school systems. He said a bipartisan agreement was reached with almost full support from the Iowa House in favor of a bill that provides additional support for teachers, students struggling in the classroom, and guidelines.
Dolecheck said he also worked very closely with both parties on mental health issues children are facing. He said legislation was passed, providing support for teachers and schools in cooperation with the Area Education Agency (AEA).
He said additional flexibility was provided for school district funding to continue working on drop out prevention, and sharing incentives between districts was renewed. The sharing incentives allow school districts in rural Iowa to share operational functions that keep transporation and mileage down and keep some of the smaller school districts open and operating, Dolecheck said.
“Those are just a few of the things in education that I’ve had a part in and very proud of the bipartisan work that went into those efforts,” said Dolecheck.
Dolecheck said the Iowa house was able to withstand the economy's downturn because of COVID-19 while accomplishing positive work during this past session and maintained a fiscally responsible budget.
Dolecheck said he worked with Governor Reynolds on education guidelines for school districts to follow during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I know it’s a moving target, and you never know,” said Dolecheck. “I personally feel that the best education for a student is in the classroom setting for the majority of our students, not all of them. There are some students who may perform better online.”
Dolecheck said they came up with a blended model for school districts meeting specific criteria and felt the guidelines are working well.
“I think the Governor, in my opinion, is doing a real good job under the circumstances of changing dynamics to be a good leader,” said Dolecheck. “Statewide, I think we’re doing about as good a job as we could.”
Dolecheck said education has to be blended with economics and the will of the people and public safety while maintaining and slowing down the spread of the virus.
“I think the governor has done about as good a job as anybody could do of striking that balance,” said Dolecheck. “You can’t just shut everything down and let people live in fear. You have to reopen sometime. Especially in rural Iowa, if you shut down what little we have, then we suffer. We keep praying for a vaccine so lives can get back to more normal.”
Dolecheck said if reelected, he will continue to work in the education arena.
“If reelected, I will continue to work in the education arena to try and provide continued flexibility,” said Dolecheck. “Try to provide as much funding for the schools as we can do with the priorities we have in the legislature. We’ve been able to continue to fund public safety and human resources at a pretty good level.”
Dolecheck said another priority would be continued work on the rural broadband across the state of Iowa. He said during the COVID-19 pandemic, working remotely has become a new way of life for many people. He also feels more people are looking to relocate to rural areas from more populated areas for health and safety reasons.
He said he would like the opportunity to continue working on agriculture issues, soil conservation, and resources to protect the water in the state of Iowa. He said he would continue to be fiscally responsible and socially conservative to protect southwest Iowa taxpayers and constituents.
“I’m privileged to have the opportunity to represent southwest Iowa and have the respect and support of the constituents for the past several years of serving southwest Iowa,” said Dolecheck. “Hopefully, I will be able to continue that.”
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