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The Scarlet & Black

Rachel Bly to run for State House

By Nathan Forman & Vinita Singh

Rachel Bly announced her candidacy for Iowa State House of Representatives in the 2012 elections last Wednesday, Aug. 24.

Bly is the Director of Conference Operations and Events for Grinnell College and Grinnell City Council Planning Committee Chair. She will run as a Democrat in Iowa’s 76th District, which includes all of Poweshiek County and most of Iowa County. Bly is the first to announce her candidacy for the state house seat. There is no incumbent in the new seat, redistricted with new borders after the 2010 Census.

For Bly, the decision to run was motivated by recent political developments. “I am passionate about the issues I care deeply about the state,” Bly said. “We’re spending a lot of time on the issues that we shouldn’t be spending so much time on and not spending enough time on the real issues such as the economy and on education and on finding common ground.”

Joe Engleman, Co-Chair of the Grinnell Campus Democrats agrees with Bly’s sentiment.

“[The Democratic majority in] the Iowa senate right now is the only thing standing between Iowa being Iowa and Iowa being Wisconsin,” Engleman said.

The comparison calls to mind this year’s political turmoil in Wisconsin, where Republican majorities in both state legislative branches and a Republican governor repealed union rights leading to subsequent recall elections.

Austin Frerick, President of the College and Young Democrats of Iowa, is sure that Bly’s experience as a non-partisan member of the City Council will help her as a candidate and to a greater extent as a member of the Iowa House.

“It’s in her job to find common ground and get things done. People are fed up with the lack of compromise in partisan politics,” he said.

Indeed, Bly herself urges that politics in Iowa have “gotten really divisive,” but insists that “collaboration [is] … one of the things that has been woven through everything I’ve done … it’s who I am.” And despite the fact that Iowa’s political climate has grown increasingly tumultuous, Bly believes she has a good chance of winning her election.

“It’s going to be a very interesting election, this district is 52/48 Democrat.” Bly said.
Though she admits that she has much to learn, Bly is enthusiastic and confident about her chances. She said that while she hasn’t started fundraising yet, she feels lucky to have the Campus Democrats at her side.

“We’re going to do our best to get our fellow Grinnellian elected,” Engleman said.

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    MIKE OLSONJun 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    RACHEL, WOULD YOU PLEASE GIVE ME A CALL. 319/540/0151 OR 319/390/6990 EXT 229