Iowa Senate District 32 candidates discuss campaign - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Senate District 32 candidates discuss campaign

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(KWWL) -

Decision 2016 includes many tight local races. The race for Iowa Senate District 32 covers Bremer, Buchanan, Southern Fayette, and Northern and Eastern Black Hawk counties. 

Incumbent State Senator Brian Schoenjahn and candidate Craig Johnson are running.

Incumbent Democratic candidate Brian Schoenjahn, who is a former teacher himself, says he knows the value of a proper education. 

"When you set the education amount, when you set the percentage, that sets the rest of the budget," said Schoenjahn. "That is the way Iowa has always operated, our priority has been education."

His Republican opponent, candidate Craig Johnson puts just as much priority on education, but wants to scale back government control.

"We would like local control for schools," said Johnson. "Our school boards operating at the level they do, having the knowledge they do, they can best solve their issues right at the local level."

Another pressing issue for both candidates is the state of mental health services in Iowa. 

Senator Schoenjahn noting concern over the recent closure of mental health institutes. Two of four mental health institutes remain in the state of Iowa, one being in his district of Independence.

"We have two beds per 100,00 people and half those beds are full of inmates," said Schoenjahn. "It needs to be addressed. We can no longer allow our county jails to become the de facto mental health institutions in the state of Iowa." 

"I'm a big supporter of mental health in this state," said Johnson. "And I would do everything I can to fund those services and keep them going."

Johnson planning on bringing his business experience as the Executive Director of Heartland Acres to the table to create jobs. 

"I think government's role in generating businesses to allow businesses to be creative and get people hired, and put them to work," said Johnson. 

Another issue Johnson feels government should scale back on is gun control. 

"Guns haven't changed, there's an attitude that's changed," said Johnson. "Knowing how to correctly handle weapons and being trained properly."

Schoenjahn, who's running for a fourth term in the Senate, wants to focus on water quality.

"We need to really address the situation of keeping the water on the soil," said Schoenjahn. "And we have had shovel ready projects around the state with our great agricultural partners, our farmers. And they've been ready to go with these projects. And we just haven't had the money to fund that."

Brian Schoenjahn currently serves Senate District 32.

He has been in the position for three terms.

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