Sen. Hubert Houser, R-Carson, made a quiet return to the Iowa Senate this week — after being absent for almost a month — to finish out his 22-year career in the Iowa House and Senate.
Tom Shipley, 61, of Nodaway will look to fill that Senate seat as he continues his campaign through Senate District 11 in preparation for the June 3 primary.
Shipley is a life-long resident of southwest Iowa. He graduated from Villisca High School in 1971.
This is Shipley’s first time running for the Iowa Senate, but he is no stranger to public service. He served 18 years on the Villisca school board and was a part of the Villisca ambulance crew for 22 years.
He also gained experience in the Iowa Capitol as a lobbyist for the Iowa Cattlemans Association.
“I already know a lot of people (in the Iowa House and Senate), I am very familiar with the legislative process and I have already developed relationships that will help get stuff done from day one,” Shipley said.
During his campaign, Shipley is making an extra effort to reach out to the rural areas of the district.
“Everyone I have met so far has been receptive to the idea of someone with a rural background to be their senator,” Shipley said.
During his visits, Shipley emphasizes the importance of creating more jobs for the southwest corner of the state. He said the biggest problems revolve around the regulations and taxes employers have to meet.
“It is my understanding that in Council Bluffs, they have Gavilon coming in and Tyson expanding,” Shipley said. “That is wonderful, great for them. But we need that activity all over southwest Iowa ... we need to utilize what we have better.”
Another focal point on Shipley’s campaign has been funding education, especially at the community college level.
Shipley attended Iowa Western Community College and his daughter, Kate Shipley, was a Southwestern Community College graduate.
“Community colleges help people get training to keep a skilled workforce,” Shipley said. “They play a key part in the whole thing and need to stay strong and able to serve students.”