Ron Welper, a Waterloo City Councilman, community leader and retired barber, filed his nomination papers and announced his candidacy to run for the Iowa Senate. Welper, a Republican, is running for Senate District 11, which includes the cities of Waterloo, Evansdale, Elk Run Heights, Raymond and parts of rural Black Hawk County.
A lifelong Iowan, Welper, 62, served in the United States Navy with a tour of duty in Vietnam in '69 and '70. Following his military service, Welper barbered in Waterloo and Cedar Falls before opening Hair Unlimited, a styling salon in Cedar Falls in 1976. A community leader and activist, Welper is the founder of Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a highly successful neighborhood association which led to the development of the neighborhood movement. Today, as a result of Welper's vision and leadership, there are over 30 neighborhood associations in Waterloo. Welper was a grassroots activist for seven years before being elected to the Waterloo City Council in 2001 and has since been overwhelmingly re-elected twice and is now in his ninth year of service. He is also a part-time contractor focused on light construction and home improvement projects.
"I feel it is my duty as a father, husband, grandfather, community leader and concerned Iowan to do everything I can to help bring about a new era of sound government that is focused on responsible and sustainable budgets that encourages private sector job creation," said Welper. "I am running because I want to help employers create jobs so we can grow our state again. I want my children and future generations of Iowans to be able to pursue their dreams in Iowa, find a rewarding career and raise their families in safe communities and good schools. We need to keep our kids here and bring them back if they've left," he continued.
Welper says he wants to get Iowa's budget back in line which will be a stark contrast with the record amassed by the present leadership. Iowa's revenue has remained stagnant while spending has increased by 20% over the past three years, which has resulted in increased property taxes and more barriers to job creation.
"Like most Iowans, I am upset with the unaffordable increases in taxes and the irresponsible levels of spending that has lead to unbalanced budgets that do not reflect the true priorities and values of Iowans. Iowans are upset with the actions in Des Moines and they do not feel they are being listened to," said Welper. "As a Waterloo City Councilman, I have seen first hand the overspending in Des Moines. While attempting to balance their budget, they have placed heavy burdens on local city governments. As your senator, I will only vote for responsible and fiscally sustainable budgets that reflect your priorities, reduce our taxes and encourage job creation."
Welper and his wife Sharon, a daycare provider, have two adult children and one grandchild. Besides his work on the City Council and Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Welper is an active member and past president of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Waterloo. He is also a member of the American Legion, 15-year member of the ELKS, past president of the Metro Exchange Club and past Cub Scout leader. Welper received the Service of Mankind Award by the Sertoma Club at the local and regional level for working with young people.
"I look forward to bringing my optimistic message and hardworking grassroots campaign to every voter in the district as we all join together with the goal of bringing about a new direction for Iowa and a brighter future for our children and grandchildren," he concluded.
Information from iowasenaterepublicans.com