Pella — Sully businessman and current Clive resident Jon Michael Van Wyk addressed the Marion County Republican Central Committee Thursday night to discuss why he should be the party's nominee to represent Iowa House District 28 instead of current Representative, Greg Heartsill.
Van Wyk told the crowd in Pella that he believes he and Heartsill have a similar philosophy, but their approaches to getting things done differ. In a follow-up conversation with the Journal-Express on Friday, Van Wyk specified that his approach would differ from Heartsill's, in that he would work with Democrats more. He is also willing to accept that not every desire of the Republican Party can practically be achieved. Van Wyk would focus on legislation that Democrats would accept and would not be overturned by the Supreme Court, as he alleges the legislation Heartsill has worked on would not succeed.
As of the time of this post, Heartsill has sponsored 81 pieces of legislation this session. Several pieces of legislation, upon reading the summary, match the stated ideals of Van Wyk on Van Wyk's campaign material, including Christianity, supporting right to life, gun rights, smaller government at tax code reform.
Immediately following Van Wyk's comments to the committee, Rep. Guy VanderLinden, who represents Pella and Oskaloosa, was given an opportunity to address them. VanderLinden spoke highly of Heartsill, calling him a team player.
"He's not unreasonable," VanderLinden said of Heartsill. He added that Heartsill is a gentleman, who is among the most well-respected and knowledgable members of the Iowa House of Representatives.
"I hope (Heartsill is) returned to the Legislature," VanderLinden said.
Heartsill was later given the opportunity to address the committee. He spent much of the time sharing what the House has been working on in the Legislature. Heartsill closed by asking Republicans for their support in the June primary and said that he believes having competition will make everyone better.
Van Wyk grew up between Pella and Oskaloosa. Three years ago, his family started a business in Sully.
"We're moving there," Van Wyk said of Sully. Currently a Clive resident, Van Wyk believes where he lays his head at night should not matter, as he already spends more time in Sully than Clive. He added that he is not moving to Sully specifically to run for office. He intends to retire there, and the candidacy was not on his mind when he made the decision to move.
Though he is a Clive resident, the Iowa Constitution only requires that a House member be a resident of Iowa for one year, and of the district he or she represents for 60 days before the General Election. Similar requirements are not in place for the primary, because no one is being elected to serve in a primary. Its purpose is candidate selection.
Sarah Reisetter, Director of Elections for the Iowa Secretary of State's Office, said that if one objects to someone's candidacy, a written objection can be mailed in. Written objections are due in to the Secretary of State's Office by the close of business on Friday, March 21. A reason for objecting to one's candidacy, such as the residency issue, must be included in the objection.
When an objection is received by the office, the State Objection Panel (Secretary of State, Auditor of State and Attorney General) or their designees meet as soon as possible to decide the validity of the objection. Candidates must be given at least 72 hours' notice of these meetings and other notices must be posted. All of these hearings, for the primary, must be completed by March 26.
Objection letters can be mailed to Secretary of State, in care of Elections, 321 East 12th Street, Des Moines, IA, 50319.
Miller-Meeks addresses committee
Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa is running for the Republican nomination for Iowa's Second Congressional District. Look for more on this candidate soon. We also intend to chat more with Van Wyk for a full story on his candidacy for an upcoming edition.