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Iowa State Senate District 24 (2020)

The Iowa Legislature meets every year, starting in January, to pass laws and establish the state government’s budget. The Senate, the upper chamber of the Iowa Legislature, consists of 50 Senators elected by Districts for four-year terms. Senators receive a salary of $25,000/year.Senate District 24 consists of Slater, northwest Story County, including Gilbert; Boone, Hamilton and Greene Counties and part of Webster County. General Election Day is November 3, 2020. Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.The pre-registration deadline to register to vote is Saturday, Oct. 24, at 5 p.m. The Auditor's Office will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day. After the pre-registration deadline, election day registration (EDR) procedures are followed. Proof of identity and proof of residence will be required. When using EDR, voters must both register and cast a ballot, whether it is an in-person absentee ballot or at the polls on Election Day. Request for an absentee ballot must be in the auditor's office by 5pm on October 24, 2020. You may vote in person at the Story County Auditor's office starting October 5, 2020 until November 2, 2020. For more information contact the Story County Auditor's Office at (515) 382-7210 or

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    Jesse Green

  • Candidate picture

    Cynthia Oppedal Paschen

Biographical Information

What is your process for identifying your priorities to the many issues that our State faces?

In recent years, the legislature has approved many laws that take away local control. Examples include the ability of local governments to regulate the siting of CAFOs, minimum wages, fireworks, and plastic bags. Would you work to reverse any of these restrictions on local control? Why or why not?

The "Bottle Bill' has gone a long way in keeping our roadsides and public spaces relatively free of bottles and cans. It has also improved opportunities for recycling, but the 1-cent handling fee approved in 1979 is no longer adequate to support recycling centers. Do you support raising the handling fee and expanding coverage to other beverage containers, including water and juice bottles? Why or why not?

What approaches are needed to improve Iowa's water quality and prevent contamination of rivers and the Gulf?

What are your proposals for reducing Iowa's prison population and improving rehabilitation of incarcerated people?

Longstanding calls to defund or even abolish the police and redirect those resources to other ways to support the community have recently entered the mainstream discourse. What is the best way for our society to promote justice, peace, and the general welfare of its members? Does that include policing in its current state? How do we use the current moment to end the perpetuation of civil and economic inequities endemic to our current system?

Campaign Mailing Address 2344 360th St
Harcourt, IA 50544
Campaign Phone (515) 351-9761
Campaign Email
Current Occupation Family farm owner and operator
Education Southeast Webster High School graduate 2003, currently study at Emmaus Bible College and ICCC
Community Involvement Bible teacher at Community Christian School, former Chairman and Treasurer Dayton Rodeo, current Secretary Webster County Farm Bureau, give Christmas sleigh rides for different communities
Other Relevant Experience I have served on many boards and I am always in a posture of learning or teaching which has set me up well to step into leadership positions. 2017 top 10 under 40 Ft Dodge Professional award recipient
When I was chairman of the Dayton Rodeo I was always trying to view things from the customers perspective. Attention is generally focused on problems but we must also at the same time always be asking and answering the question, "How can we at the same time make even the best things better?!" Iowa is full of opportunity, we must spot what the most valuable assets are in our district and help connect and invest in these things. In my first leadership class this idea impacted me and helped me lead the Dayton Rodeo to new growth. If given the opportunity to serve district 24 as Senator, I would be no different in this mindset. Government is viewed as having a tendency to be slow to respond. The first step in making government better is electing people that have a proactive, not a reactive mindset.
Many issues are very complex. Due to this complexity there must be a great relationship between all levels of government in order to respond to the needs of people. The decisions one county makes can drastically affect another county and have unintended consequences. Generally I will always lean on the side of local control. No one knows the needs of the people more than municipalities and county governments so lets make sure we maintain good respectful relationships on all levels. Simply put, I believe we need uniformity with commerce and then on other issues allow local control when and where we can.
The current bottle bill is obviously not adequate for what it was intended for. We need to do something drastic by either completely getting rid of it or drastically strengthening it. No matter what we decide to do I firmly believe grocery stores need to be exempt. I think most would agree that laying this responsibility on grocery stores is not very sanitary and is unnecessary. If we did strengthen the bill I would be open to expanding the coverage to other containers as well.
I'm only 35 and I have already seen in my short career multiple positive changes have been implemented in agriculture to help with this issue. Examples I have seen are : more soil sampling to save on fertilizer, nitrogen stabilizers, minimal till, strip till, and no till practices are very common, experimentation of cover crops, just to name a few. Most of my neighbors are trying different methods to promote conservation and stewardship mindsets. We must keep investing in beginning farmers and conservation programs to build upon this mindset. The average age of the average farmer is roughly 59 years old. If we could lower this age I believe there would be an even greater increase in conservation efforts.
As a Christian this is a very important topic for me. I have seen personally how the love and compassion of Christ has transformed my life. He saw the value and potential in us to do what He did, we in return should also see the value and potential in people who have made terrible choices as well. We can maintain both an outlook of holding people accountable while investing more in training them for future jobs. I look forward to looking at this issue more to see if we can do more to educate prisoners to be ready for life outside the prison when the day arrives so they can hit the ground running and be a great asset to the community !
I do not believe that policing and funding have anything to do with inequality. The calls to defund the police would only result in further inequalities because the neighborhoods most at risk would see an increase in crime and violence first. Police provide safety, stability, and cohesion in a civilized society. They ensure that all citizens freedoms are protected by enforcing the collective laws of a state. Proper training of new and existing officers is vital, but the notion that a social worker could protect a vulnerable woman from being assaulted at gun point by her assailant is asinine. A separate conversation is welcomed on the issues of race, poverty, and equality, but it has no business being equated with the need to eliminate a police force that actively protects the victims of crimes, often those who are most vulnerable to it. The best way to promote justice, peace, and the general welfare of a society is by enforcing the law, promoting family values, and better education.
Campaign Phone (515) 509-1034
Twitter @CynthiaPash
Current Occupation Volunteer with Mary Greeley Hospice and APL;
Education BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University.
Community Involvement Active volunteer and fundraiser.
Other Relevant Experience Citizen lobbyist with numerous organizations.
I entered this race the evening of March 1 at an event in Boone. It became clear to me that Iowans with access to lobbyists and attorneys and power fare much better than the men, women and children who are unrepresented: Rural Iowans, Victims of sexual and domestic violence, families suffering from a lack of access to food and/or health care. I jumped in to represent the voices of the voiceless and the powerless.
Absolutely. Local city and county governments typically know what works best in their communities. This is a lesson we've learned the hard way during COVID-19 and the recent derecho.
Yes. It is critical to improve our environment. Grocers resent the extra work it takes, but they play a part in protecting our soil and water and air.
Many best practices are highlighted in Art Cullen's book, "Storm Lake." We have work to do.
I think if we are going to do the work to reduce incarceration in Iowa, we have to look at our own systems that imprison black and brown people at a much higher rate than white people.
Economic inequity has gotten worse during the Pandemic. Talk with churches and human service agencies in Webster, Hamilton, Boone, Greene and Story Counties and you quickly learn of the multiple crises in our communities. Individuals and families in rural areas of Iowa are experiencing food insecurity, higher rates of sexual and family violence, utility shutoffs and evictions. Solving our problems in policing will require us to do the work of dismantling systemic racism.

We have to take direction from Indigenous people and people of color to solve these problems.