Candidate Q&A - State Representative District 15


The candidates for State Representative - District 15 this election cycle are Rep. Matt Windschitl (R - Missouri Valley, incumbent) and Benjamin Schauer (D- Dunlap). Their Q&As are below.

Name: Matt W. Windschitl

City/town: Missouri Valley

Candidate for: State Representative House District 15

Explain who you are:

God fearing constitutional conservative, husband to my beautiful wife Ivy for 20-plus years. Father of two amazing daughters, Anna and Addy, who are both graduates of homeschooling. United States Marine with eight years of service, one tour in Iraq in 2005 and Honorably Discharged in 2009. State Representative for Harrison (and multiple other counties) for the past 18 years. Majority Leader of the Iowa House of Representatives.

Why did you run for this position?

To continue to try and better the lives of all Iowans and make our state a better place for future generations.

What from your background qualifies you for this position?

Eight years of honorable service in the USMC, and 18 years of leadership and service in the State Legislature.

What are your goals if elected?

Continue to protect the most innocent among us, the unborn. Build on the advancements we have made to protect and uphold our individual and fundamental right to self-preservation by protecting and enhancing our right to Keep and Bear Arms. Lower taxes even more including both income and property taxes. Fight to preserve our liberties and freedoms which are granted by God and not government.

Name: Benjamin Schauer

City/town: Dunlap

Candidate for: Iowa House District 15

Explain who you are:

I am a proud Western Iowa transplant who moved to Dunlap in 2016 for a teaching position. I currently serve as the 5-12 Band Director and 6-12 Curriculum Director at Boyer Valley (Dunlap). I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa, my master’s degree and principal endorsement at Drake University and am currently working on my PhD in Education (also at Drake).

Outside of teaching, I sit on the Dunlap City Council, perform on the worship team at Grace Evangelical Free Church in Denison, IA, serve on the Dunlap Community Development Corporation and Harlan Community Theatre boards, serve as the president of the Boyer Valley Education Association and chair the Harrison County Democratic Party.

I am an avid reader and history buff, and, in the spare time I have, you can usually find me working on community projects, donating time to my church or working with my students.

Why did you run for this position?

Partisan politics leave people behind. What we’re seeing now is one-party rule that has no regard for dissenting points of view. Under the current trifecta, we have seen greatly diminished access to women’s healthcare, a refusal to act on the issue of eminent domain being used for private gain, taxpayer funds used to subsidize private school systems that are not held to the same scrutiny as public institutions, the muzzling of our state auditor to investigate fraud and corruption, the beginning processes of dismantling our AEAs, union busting attempts and the erosion of local control for schools, cities and counties.

These issues will impact our communities and will hasten the decline of rural Iowa. Bipartisanship forces conversation and compromise, something that is sorely missing in our state. I am running to be that voice of compromise that listens to all people and puts their needs over politics and party ideology.

What from your background qualifies you for this position?

Professionally, I’ve served four years as a City Councilman in Dunlap. During that time, I’ve worked with people across a wide political spectrum to accomplish meaningful change for our community (while still maintaining fiscal responsibility). Long-term thinking has become our new mantra at city council meetings, and I am thrilled to have been a part of this mindset shift. My background in education provides transferable skills in the realms of public relations, systemic thinking and organization and people first policies (in addition to the first-hand understanding of the impact the State has on our institutions).

Personally, what most qualifies me for this position is the love I have for my community and my desire to see it thrive. Supporting our communities transcends partisanship, and I hope that, given my devotion to my community, voters will be open to my platform of progress knowing I have their best interests in mind.

What are your goals if elected?

We must return Iowa to a place of civility and bipartisanship. This hyperpolarized political climate is not sustainable, and people are ready for a change from “business as usual.”

My main priorities are as follows: protect women’s access to safe and accessible healthcare, stop the use of eminent domain for private gain, fund public schools and AEAs at the rate of inflation, enact a living wage for the workers of Iowa, reinstate collective bargaining rights for public employees, roll back legislation that muzzles our duly elected State Auditor and enact programs that utilize federally generated dollars to strengthen and expand rural infrastructure (physical and technological).

Most importantly, I will be a champion of the people – not just those that vote for me or share my political affiliation. Partisanship gets us nowhere, and I intend to be a force that brings Iowa back to equilibrium. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration!