Young candidates compete for House District 17 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Young candidates compete for House District 17

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NEW HARTFORD/WAVERLY (KWWL) -- Whoever is elected to the Iowa House of Representatives from District 17 will be one of the youngest members to serve our state.

House District 17 includes all of Butler County and the western half of Bremer County. The two candidates running are 25-year-old Pat Grassley of New Hartford and 23-year-old Cayla Baresel of Waverly.

Just to let you know how their ages compare... currently the youngest member of the Iowa House is 25. The oldest member is 80. The average age of those in the house is 53 point 7.

Both candidates said their young age is good for Iowa, helping to diversify the Iowa House.

Last session three members of the Iowa House were in their 20s. Republican Pat Grassley of New Hartford was one of those members. The grandson of Senator Charles Grassley hopes to be re-elected.

But House District 17 is guaranteed to maintain its youth. Grassley's opponent is 23-year-old Democrat Cayla Baresel of Waverly.

Both candidates want aid for tornado and flood victims: 1800 homes and businesses were lost in Butler and Bremer Counties.

"We do need to all work together to make sure the people who need help are receiving those funds and making sure people are getting the resources they need to get back to where they were," said Democratic House District 17 Candidate Cayla Baresel.

"I've helped a lot of people with insurance. Some of the insurance companies were being very difficult in cases where they shouldn't have been and we got a lot of those straightened out," said Republican House District 17 Candidate Pat Grassley.

Grassley also wants to increase funding for community colleges and to be more fiscally responsible.

Baresel said healthcare is one of her top priorities, something she pushed for while working for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Despite different party affiliations both candidates said their youth is good for Iowa.

"My grandpa when he first started running, he represented the same district I have, he was younger than me the first time he ran, and I think he's done all right for himself. So we need to encourage young people to get involved," said Pat Grassley.

"I am young, yes, but I have the energy to bring a great voice to Des Moines," said Cayla Baresel.

Both want Iowa to keep and recruit more young people, saying it's essential for Iowa's future. To run for the Iowa House, a person must be at least 21 years old.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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