Eye on Politics Ep. 2

Featuring the race for Iowa Governor, Minnesota's US Senate seat & Iowa Senate District 27.

Posted: Oct 15, 2018 1:28 PM

KIMT News 3 - Each week leading up to the election we are featuring races on your ballot and making sure you are informed about where candidates stand on important issues.


This week we begin with the race for Iowa’s highest office. Republican Governor Kim Reynolds and her challenger, democrat Fred Hubbell went head to head in their first debate. With so much attention surrounding sexual assault and harassment cases nationwide and close to home, the two were asked how they would deal with and work to stop that kind of behavior.
“So it's about changing the culture. It's about making sure we have more women in leadership and it's about making sure people know they will be heard, and that if the policy is violated action will be taken,” responded Reynolds.


"State government should have a whistle blower process, so that if somebody has claimed a sexual harassment or assault in the workplace or mismanagement of resources, they can go outside their line of command so that they don't have to go to their boss or H-R. They go to the 800 number that's anonymous and gets reviewed. Then an independent third party takes action quickly and it's investigated and results are done," says Hubbell.


Reynolds and Hubbell also answered question surrounding taxes, gun safety and how to improve the economy. Reynolds is seeking her first full term as governor. Hubbell is a Des Moines businessman who wants to shift state leadership after 8 years of republican governorship. Two more debates are scheduled. They will be held on October 17 in Sioux City and October 21 in Davenport.


Meanwhile, it's a race that could impact the makeup of the US Senate as republicans work to stay in control. The seat previously held by former Senator Al Franken will either be filled by republican candidate Karin Housley or democrat, Tina Smith who was appointed to the seat after he resigned. Right now, Smith is ahead in the polls by about 9 points. KIMT News 3 political analyst Dr. Eric Shoars says it's going to be hard for Housley making up that ground.


"For Karin Housley to win this election it's going to come down to riding Trump’s coat tails. He has to be so popular in Minnesota that people can't wait to vote for her and they strongly disagree with Senator Smith's time in the senate as brief as it's been and her decisions on some issues including Justice Kavanagh," says Shoars.


Shoars also points out Smith has not done much else during her time in the senate that would be controversial which isn't giving Housley much leverage. To better get to know where these candidates stand on education specifically, we asked both how much control government should have over local school districts.


"Nobody knows better how to educate the kids in their communities than the parents and the families and the local school districts. Education should always be kept as local as possible. Nobody wants Washington D.C. telling you how to educate your kids in the Rochester area,” says Housley.


"My view is that public education is something we all agree to do together. It is the key to opportunity to every child in our country and our state. Education is mostly a local issue and I think that's as it should be. It is mostly paid for by state and local governments and controlled at the local level through local school boards but the government has a very important role to play," says Smith.


Smith says the federal government should step in where needed to help districts with issues they are facing like the current teacher shortage being felt in rural Minnesota and Iowa. Housley feels some federal programs should be eliminated to give schools more freedom.


Getting down to the local level, Iowa Senate District 27 covers most of Cerro Gordo, Franklin and Butler counties.
This year, incumbent Senator Amanda Ragan is facing a challenge from republican business woman Shannon Latham. Both candidates sat down with KIMT to answer a few questions, including what their top priority would be in Des Moines come January.


"The Medicaid expansion has been beneficial but the privatization of managed care has really been a problem especially for those with disabilities and seniors. I am hoping to resolve it and work in a bipartisan way to bring some conclusion to what's going on across the state," says Ragan.


“One of the things that I am really trying to promote is revitalizing rural communities as well as areas like Mason City and I think one key to that is entrepreneurship. I know that one thing that's hindering entrepreneurship right now and the growth of rural businesses is rural broadband so I would like to see us make that more of a priority to attract more businesses to these areas," says Latham.


Latham is co-owner and vice president of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds. Ragan is the executive director of the Community Kitchen of North Iowa; she was first elected to the senate in 2002.


Minnesota absentee ballot numbers continue to impress. According to the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office, more than 223,000 ballots have already been requested. This is a 209% increase over requests at this time in the 2014 midterm election. In Olmsted County specifically, in 2014, 1,864 absentee ballots were requested, so far this year more than 7,060 have been requested.

As the first week of absentee voting wraps up in Iowa, we are getting some numbers in. According to the Cerro Gordo County Auditor's Office, so far this year 2,750 absentee ballots have been requested or are in the hands of election officials. In 2014, that number was 2,900 at this time. Interim Auditor Pat Wright reminds voters this year in Iowa you only have 29 days to vote early as opposed to 40 days in years past.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 22464

Reported Deaths: 942
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin7540565
Ramsey2610103
Stearns198412
Nobles14883
Anoka126259
Dakota118244
Olmsted57510
Washington56230
Kandiyohi4751
Rice4112
Clay40625
Scott3792
Todd2960
Wright2691
Sherburne2192
Mower2161
Carver1852
Benton1692
Steele1480
Martin1265
Blue Earth1221
St. Louis11513
Freeborn970
Pine850
Winona7815
Nicollet747
Carlton730
Cottonwood650
Otter Tail620
Unassigned6110
Goodhue603
Watonwan590
Polk592
Crow Wing571
Itasca537
Chisago501
Dodge460
Chippewa441
Meeker440
Le Sueur431
Morrison400
Douglas390
Jackson390
Becker370
Murray360
Lyon360
Isanti330
McLeod290
Waseca240
Rock210
Swift170
Pennington170
Mille Lacs171
Fillmore171
Wabasha170
Brown142
Faribault130
Beltrami130
Sibley130
Cass122
Norman110
Wilkin113
Kanabec111
Pipestone100
Marshall90
Pope80
Wadena80
Aitkin70
Koochiching70
Yellow Medicine60
Lincoln50
Renville50
Mahnomen51
Red Lake40
Traverse30
Big Stone30
Clearwater30
Redwood30
Grant30
Lac qui Parle30
Houston20
Lake10
Hubbard10
Roseau10
Kittson10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 18342

Reported Deaths: 496
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3876115
Woodbury265831
Black Hawk171343
Linn93876
Marshall87815
Dallas87317
Buena Vista6820
Johnson6058
Muscatine54741
Wapello5384
Crawford4882
Tama40026
Scott34610
Louisa33610
Dubuque33016
Jasper25716
Pottawattamie2277
Sioux2100
Washington1858
Wright1240
Allamakee1194
Plymouth1191
Warren1140
Story961
Poweshiek888
Mahaska888
Bremer676
Henry671
Clinton601
Des Moines581
Boone560
Taylor480
Cedar461
Guthrie443
Clarke400
Benton391
Jones360
Iowa360
Monroe354
Shelby350
Clayton313
Buchanan310
Osceola310
Marion300
Webster291
Hamilton280
Madison261
Fayette260
Monona240
Lee230
Cherokee230
Winneshiek230
Cerro Gordo221
Davis200
Jefferson190
Harrison190
Lyon190
Grundy190
Floyd181
Sac170
Mills160
Hardin150
Butler150
Delaware150
Humboldt140
Ida140
Keokuk140
Hancock140
Appanoose133
Jackson130
Dickinson130
Clay130
Greene130
Howard120
Audubon121
Winnebago110
Cass110
Page100
Van Buren90
Franklin90
Carroll90
Pocahontas90
Chickasaw80
Emmet80
Unassigned80
Kossuth80
Adair70
Adams70
Lucas70
Union60
Montgomery60
Mitchell50
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Palo Alto30
Worth30
Calhoun20
Decatur10
Wayne10
Rochester
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