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My name is Ryan Zeskey. I am running to be the Democratic State Representative in the Iowa Legislature in House District 97 this November. Participating in the democratic process has been important to me ever since I served to protect those rights as a member of the U.S. Navy.

In past years, I have been sympathetic to GOP commitments of hard work and family values. In today’s Republican party, however, those values have been replaced by science-denial, hide-the-ball legislative tactics and party-first corporate obedience.

We can see these values at work in the Republican-led Iowa Legislature. A bill passed on the final day of the legislative session prevents long-term and nursing care workers from suing workplaces that fail to follow proper protocols for their safety. Shielding businesses while exposing heroes and the most at-risk is profoundly disturbing. Another bill puts limits on mail-in voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe in more democracy, not less.

Why are rural schools chronically underfunded and forced to consolidate? As the candidate recommended by the Iowa State Education Association for this seat, I will work to fix these shortfalls. Why is local development delayed by lack of funding? The Legislature continues to focus on reckless, unnecessary legislation despite stagnation in places like Clinton County. Job and tax revenue losses for local schools and roads have been overlooked in favor of millions of dollars in tax breaks for Des Moines and Iowa City. This must change.

House District 97 historically supports Republicans, but for the past few years, can you say that you have been satisfied with what the Legislature has done for Eastern Iowa?

I am running to increase funding for schools, protect healthcare and rural hospitals, and work with family farmers to ensure that their bottom line is met.

I know what it means to serve your family, community, and country. If I have the privilege of earning your support to be your State Representative, I pledge to be transparent and accountable to you and to do what is right.