King’s Democratic challenger makes stop in Jefferson
By DOUGLAS BURNS
When Jim Mowrer, born and raised on a farm in Boone County, southwest of Ogden, was 7 years old, his father, David, died in a farming accident at age 43.
A train collided with David Mowrer’s tractor and grain wagon at a rural intersection with two railroad tracks. One train passed and obscured a train going the other direction, creating a blind spot, Jim Mowrer said.
Bottom line: the family lost a dad and provider.
Jim Mowrer, an Iraq War veteran and Democratic candidate for Congress in the sweeping 4th District that includes the Jefferson area, says protecting Social Security is personal, and has been since he was 7.
“What really kept my family from falling so far down that we couldn’t get back up was the basic social safety net, and in particular, Social Security survivors’ benefits,” Mowrer said. “That’s what I really point to as to why I’m a Democrat. I believe that when we fall down, we’re all better off if we help one another get back up.”
Mowrer spoke to about 25 people at Greene Bean Coffee in Jefferson last Friday.
He is seeking re-election to a seat now held by U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron.
Mowrer enlisted in the Iowa National Guard following high school and 9/11. His unit, the 1-133 Infantry Battalion, served a 23-month deployment in the Iraq War. Mowrer served in active duty from October 2005 to July 2007.
“That experience is what gave me such great confidence about the future of our country,” Mowrer said.
Mowrer worked in a civilian capacity at the Pentagon, as a special assistant to an undersecretary of the Army. Mowrer helped the Army Office of Business Transformation reform the governance behind the connections between the Army and American businesses.
“Without cutting any services, we saved $3.5 billion of taxpayers’ money,” Mowrer said.
In contrast, Mowrer said, King helped cost taxpayers $24 billion by voting to shut down the federal government for about two weeks in October 2013.
Mowrer, who has been campaigning for more than a year, said he would be a practical problem-solver, a representative who looks for solutions, not ideological differences with which to skewer political opponents.
That type of approach to the job of serving the district could yield benefits when it comes to agriculture, where there is regional, bipartisan work taking place, Mowrer said, adding that King squanders so much political capital with his often provocative statements that he has challenges working with other members of Congress on key issues for Iowa like the Renewable Fuel Standard, the biofuels-lifting mandates for blending ethanol and other fuels into the nation’s gasoline supply.
“People understand that he is not a person who has ever worked to accomplish anything in a bipartisan way,” Mowrer said.
On other issues:
• Mowrer supports an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.
• He supports a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that involves securing the border and developing a path to citizenship for residents here without proper papers.
Karen Voge-Perkins, of Jefferson, a registered Democrat, said Mowrer is “exactly” what Iowans need in Washington, D.C.
“I particularly liked his comments about specific ways he would interact with people to reach across the aisle to try to eliminate the dysfunction that we’re seeing in Washington right now,” Voge-Perkins, 74, said.