Mount Ayr, Iowa – Rural educator and former Mount Ayr Community Schools vice president James Uhlenkamp announced this month that he will seek election as State Representative in House District 24. The seat is currently held by Rep. Cecil Dolecheck of Mount Ayr.
“I’ve watched the past three years as the Republican House drained the Iowa treasury of almost a billion dollars, giving it away to large, rich corporations with little concern for the return on investment for the people of Iowa,” says Uhlenkamp. “In 2017, Iowa saw state Republicans steal power from cities and counties, placing unnecessary and unwise limits on local control in business and employment conditions. In an effort to protect out-of-state corporations, House Republicans even prevented communities from trying to improve the lives of their working mothers and fathers by raising the minimum wage. When state Republicans impose policies that harm working families, they need to take a time out. We need to return the government of Iowa to fiscal prudence and to local leadership.”
Uhlenkamp taught high school English and German at Mt. Ayr from 1991 to 2004, where he also served as an assistant wrestling coach. In 2001, he earned National Board Certification as an English teacher, a distinction awarded to only 53 Iowa high school English teachers. From 2004 to 2007, Uhlenkamp taught at Southwestern Community College and currently serves as an administrator at Graceland University in Lamoni.
In the community, Uhlenkamp served on the inaugural Mount Ayr Teen Center board, helping to secure an endowment to ensure the center’s long-term stability. He has served on the Mt Ayr library board and fulfilled two terms on the Mt. Ayr school board, including four years as vice president. Uhlenkamp is a founding member of the Knights of Columbus council serving Ringgold and Decatur counties. He has earned degrees from the University of Iowa and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“I was raised in Iowa, for the most part. After graduating from the University of Iowa in 1986, I taught in Texas for five years but realized that my Iowa roots ran too deep to live anywhere else. Many of my neighbors and friends are fortunate enough to have been born and raised in beautiful south central Iowa. My family and I made the positive choice to live here because of the people,” said Uhlenkamp. “They have given me a supportive and solid community, and I will work for them in the Iowa house to return Iowa to a simple governing principle: laws must address clear and serious problems, and they should be made at the lowest level possible, preferably at the city or county level. Most of all, no public money should be given to a corporation without a clear way to measure the direct benefits to the people of Iowa.”
“We need to return government to a respect for the working people of Iowa, and regain control of our fiscal house. I ask the people of Ringgold, Taylor, Page and Montgomery counties to trust me and send me to the Iowa House to do the people’s business, and not to line corporate pockets.”