With the election just a few days away and many voters with questions over who is right to tackle the tough issues facing Iowa, Nathan Wrage hopes to provide answers.
Wrage (D-Gladbrook) has been feverishly campaigning over the past few months, relying largely on door-knocking to get the word out about his vision for Iowa House District 72 if elected. He took the time to sit down with the Star-Clipper to address some of the comprehensive positions he's taken on a host of issues affecting area voters.
Wrage, who is a native of the area, is a former Lennox worker and familiar to many in the Gladbrook and Reinbeck areas as the G-R school custodian. His everyman persona and desire to see our schools thrive is something that he feels makes him an attractive candidate to the average voter.
"I'm a lifelong resident of the area, and I chose to raise my family here because I think what we've got here is a good thing," Wrage said. "I think we need to re-emphasize the state's commitment to education."
"Funding has decreased the last eight to 10 years from the K-12 level all the way up to the university level, and we need to change that," Wrage said. "There's no better time than now to make an investment in education because a well-educated workforce is what's going to attract more businesses to the state and keep well-qualified people working here."
To Wrage, there is a direct correlation between making an investment in the Iowa workers of tomorrow and the success of the state's economy, which he also sees as linked to the continued effort to lower the burden on small businesses.
"In our district, we're talking about a lot more small businesses than big-box stores or chains," Wrage said in reference to lowering the corporate tax rate. "A lot of these larger businesses don't see it as an overwhelming issue, whereas the small-town hardware store owner needs it to keep their health and vitality of their business. I think it would be more beneficial to tailor the commercial property tax relief to work for our small businesses here in Iowa."
As an outdoor enthusiast himself, Wrage also sees the potential to use Iowa's vast natural beauty as a way to boost tourism, and in turn, the local economy.
"A lot of times, people seem to think environmental issues are things that will cost us money, but they don't think of the potential for small businesses," Wrage said. "For every bike trail, there's a chance for a bike repair ship or cafe at the end of it, for example."
For Wrage, growing small businesses, investing in education and being creative with ways to grow as a district and state as a whole are issues he hopes voters will take into consideration when making their choice for the Iowa House District 72 seat on November 6.