“As a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, I’ve served our great country at home and overseas. I’m excited about the opportunity to serve my home district in the Iowa House of Representatives,” said Higdon. “I believe it’s time for new leaders at the State Capitol who understand it’s time to put politics aside and work together to do what’s best for the people of Iowa.”
Major Higdon grew up in Lamoni working on the family farm and graduated from Lamoni High School. He is an Eagle Scout and graduate of Graceland University, where his parents taught and both later became President. After graduation from college, Major Rich Higdon worked in the private sector in the agriculture industry and earned his MBA before joining the United States Air Force.
“I’m ready to put my experience in business and the military to work for the people here in southern Iowa. I’ll work to create good jobs and give our ag economy a boost,” said Maj. Higdon, a Democrat. “As an Iowan and proud product of our public schools, I’m deeply troubled that lawmakers in Des Moines are shortchanging our schools and leaving Iowa kids with fewer opportunities. I will make sure our public schools are the top priority again and guarantee that rural schools get our share of state resources.”
Major Higdon served many years as a medical administrator in the US Air Force. He was serving in Washington, DC on 9/11 and his unit coordinated the military medical response to the attack on the Pentagon. Later, he was assigned to the Department of Defense Inspectors General’s (DoDIG) Office, where he worked on protecting the US from dangerous materials such as anthrax and other hazardous agents as well as working to end human trafficking.
“After years in the medical field in both the private sector and US military, I know there is more we can do to sustain and improve access to healthcare in rural Iowa. While there are some significant challenges, responsive and affordable medical care must be available to all in rural Iowa,” added Maj. Higdon.
In 2005, Major Higdon was sent to Iraq and Jordan to evaluate the Iraqi police force. After he retired from the USAF in 2009, he served as an advisor in Afghanistan to help local leaders rebuild their own country. Maj. Higdon was instrumental in bringing his Afghan interpreter and his family out of Afghanistan because Afghans who assisted the U.S. face targeting by the Taliban.
“The last 15 years have been especially tough on our military families and veterans who have served overseas and at home to protect our country,” said Maj. Higdon. “Our veterans represent the best and bravest from our state and many face unique emotional and employment issues when they come home. We have an obligation to support them and get them the assistance they deserve.”
Maj. Higdon has five sons, three of whom live in Iowa, and currently works on the family farm with one of his sons. His former wife, Barbara, passed away earlier this year. He attends the Community of Christ Church in Lamoni and enjoys leading the adult learning class.