From the Waterloo Courier:

A former high school teacher and coach will run for state representative in House District 23, which includes Buchanan and part of Black Hawk counties.

Gene Ficken of Independence, a Democrat, is running for the Iowa House seat occuped by Republican Dan Ramsussen.

Ficken was a science instructor for 33 years at Independence High School, which he says taught him students must be are prepared for jobs in the 21st century.

“Students today aren’t just competing for jobs with other kids from Iowa, they are competing with those from around the world,” Ficken said.

Ficken coordinated the science curriculum for the district from kindergarten through high school. He also helped develop an athletic program for girls.

Ficken coached basketball, softball and track and field, was a member of the Independence Teaching Association and sponsored the National Honor Society.

The candidate said health care costs are another concern.

“Every Iowan deserves access to quality, affordable care and should never be denied coverage because of a medical condition. Seniors shouldn’t have to worry about going without their prescription drugs,” Ficken said.

His wife, Michelle, is a registered nurse at the Mental Health Institute. The couple are members of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Independence, where Ficken served on the council and as congregation president.

Since retiring, Ficken runs a small business out of his home. He also works part time at Reiff Funeral Home.