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Democrat Jim Mowrer in race for Iowa Secretary of State

Aug 04, 2017

By James Q. Lynch, The Gazette


CEDAR RAPIDS — Rather than spending state resources making it harder to vote, Jim Mowrer believes Iowa’s Secretary of State should be doing everything possible to make voting accessible to more Iowans.

Mowrer, an Army veteran and a two-time U.S. House candidate, formally announced Thursday he is seeking the seat held by Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate in 2018. His focus will be on increasing efficiency in the office and ensuring fair elections.

“Iowans have a rich history of political engagement,” Mowrer said. “That’s why it’s so discouraging that our public officials are spending their time and our tax dollars adding unnecessary barriers that make it harder for people to vote.”

He believes the state needs a secretary “with a record of effectively managing taxpayer dollars and with a dedication to ensuring fair and accessible elections.”

The announcement by Mowrer, 31, follows the Iowa Legislature approving changes to Iowa voting laws that he called new barriers to voting. Among them was reducing the early voting period before Election Day from 40 to 29 days.

“Right now, we have a Secretary of State focused on making it as difficult and expensive as possible for Iowans to vote — that’s unacceptable,” he said.

Pate, who is completing his second term as secretary, has not announced his re-election plans. According to a spokesperson, he’s focused on doing the best job he can, not politics.

Also, Des Moines businesswoman Deidre DeJear plans to announce her candidacy later this month. DeJear ran voter turnout efforts for Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign in Iowa. Her company helps other small businesses get off the ground. Her focus, will be on encouraging voting and helping small businesses.

Mowrer is a Boone native. He enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. Two years later, as a sergeant, he was deployed to Iraq where he worked as an intelligence analyst. While deployed, he worked to coordinate his unit’s absentee voting process from Iraq, where he saw firsthand how difficult it is for some citizens to cast their ballots, he said.

In 2010, Mowrer moved to the Pentagon as special assistant to the undersecretary of the Army. There, he helped start and oversee the Army Office of Business Transformation with a goal of improving effectiveness while saving tax dollars.

Mowrer and his wife, Chelsey, live in Des Moines, with their two sons. He works for a human services nonprofit organization and is an adjunct professor at Grandview University.

A recent 20/20 Insight poll of likely voters conducted for Mowrer, shows he leads Pate 38 to 33 percent among likely voters with a 4.3 percent margin of error. The survey was conducted in June.

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