The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Driscoll defeats Dozark and Adams in District 38 Republican state Senate primary

Dawn Driscoll will take on Ivy Schuster in the race to replace State Senator Tim Kapucian. Photo contributed by Dawn Driscoll.

Dawn Driscoll, cattle farmer and acting president of the Iowa County Farm Bureau, won the Republican primary for the State Senate District 38 seat on Tuesday, June 2. Driscoll, who is from Williamsburg, Iowa, said that she is rooting her campaign in her conservative farm values and pushing for greater support of agriculture and rural communities.

Driscoll received 46 percent of the vote on Tuesday, edging out fellow Republicans Garrett Dozark and Bruce Adams, who earned 35 and 19 percent, respectively. She is now running against Democratic candidate and Grinnell College Information Technology Services employee Ivy Schuster, who won the Democratic primary with 83 percent of the vote. (Schuster could not be reached for comment for this piece.)

“I was absolutely honored and thankful,” said Driscoll of her reaction to the election results. “I had all the emotions, honestly. We had worked so hard that I was ecstatic.”

Driscoll announced her candidacy last August. Senator Tim Kapucian, who currently represents District 38 in the State Senate, encouraged Driscoll to run for the seat after getting to know her as a lobbyist for the Iowa Farm Bureau. Kapucian is currently serving his third and final term as State Senator.

“[Kapucian] pulled me aside and said, ‘I’m going to probably resign,’ and on my drive home I thought, ‘How could I miss an opportunity like this?’” said Driscoll. “So, it’s been in the back of my mind for the last couple of years and I’m so glad, I’m so thankful for it.”

Driscoll, who also works as a recruiter for Hummer AgriBusiness Search, wants to prioritize issues in mental healthcare, education and law enforcement. She said her background in agriculture has given her a work ethic and an ability to connect to rural communities, skills she said have prepared her to be a successful legislator in the Iowa State Senate.

Originally, Driscoll planned to campaign through consistent participation in city council meetings throughout Iowa, Benton and Poweshiek counties. Then the COVID-19 pandemic came along.

“We took to the phones!” said Driscoll. “We spent hours on the phone, every day, and when I say hours, I mean probably ten hours a day.”

She and her campaign team, which consists of family members and friends from the community, have called thousands of voters since in-person campaign events were suspended in March. Though Driscoll remains hopeful some on-the-ground campaigning can continue, she emphasized that it’s unlikely she will be able to make her case in person to any large groups of voters before the general election.

“I’m so thankful that the governor has done what she’s done the whole time,” said Driscoll, regarding Governor Kim Reynolds’ approach to handling the coronavirus.

Reynolds was one of only eight governors in the U.S. to not implement a stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of the virus, though she did restrict certain businesses and behavior.

“As far as going out, it’s not a big deal if you don’t feel comfortable because everyone has different feelings. I think that Iowans are very respectful of those opinions,” said Driscoll. “People are very cautious, I think, this year, and I think that that’s a good thing.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *