Representative Scott Ourth
House District 26
Scott was born on February 7, 1959 to Lynn and Ellen Ourth. He attended school in Chattanooga, Tennessee and spent his childhood summers with his grandparents on their Mississippi River farm. Scott returned to his Iowa roots as a freshman at Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa. He framed houses and worked as a lifeguard to pay his way through school.
After college Scott worked on the production line in an automotive manufacturing plant while taking graduate courses at Central Michigan University. In 1986, Ourth moved to Washington, DC, where he worked for several years as a congressional press secretary and policy analyst. He has also advised several national congressional and gubernatorial candidates.
Scott later returned to Iowa to work as an advisor to several elected officials in a number of capacities. A long-time advocate for persons with disabilities, Scott has worked to expand and improve supports and services for persons living with disabilities. Ourth also spent two years as assistant secretary of state for operations for the State of Iowa. His primary responsibility was to foster partnerships with county officials throughout Iowa, making certain all 1,788 federal polling places were accessible to persons with disabilities.
In the Iowa House of Representatives, Scott is serving his first term in the Iowa House and sits on the Agriculture, Commerce, Natural Resources and Economic Growth Committees. He also serves on the Agriculture and Natural Resource Budget Subcommittee. He was named by his peers to serve as vice chair of the House Democratic Rural Caucus and was named co-chair of the Iowa Legislative Sportsman Caucus. In 2012, Scott was appointed to the Statewide Fire and Police Retirement System Board of Trustees.
Scott Ourth has always been a strong advocate for causes important to him. He twice swam a 10-mile portion of Lake Huron to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society. In 2002, Scott completed a non-stop hike of the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail. The six month trek was done to raise money and awareness for children living with intellectual disabilities.
For four years, Scott served as Warren County public affairs director writing over $1 million in successful grants. His work has resulted in community improvements such as the geothermal retrofit at the Annett Nature Center and the one hundred-foot, 20 kilowatt wind turbine that now powers that entire facility. He secured $100,000 to underwrite the renovation of the old People’s Bank building on the Indianola Square, which is now the Warren County Courthouse Annex.
Scott is currently heading up a multi-phase effort to pave the pedestrian walking areas at the Warren County fairgrounds, financed entirely by grants and contributions. Upon completion, this project will allow every Warren County resident to easily access and move about the fairgrounds. He is working with the DNR and his colleagues in the Iowa Legislature to secure $750,000 to rebuild four cabins at Ahquabi State Park, originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corp. He secured an Energy Efficiency and Energy Block Grant to install a 20 kw wind turbine Annett Nature Center, which now powers the facility with clean renewable energy.
Scott is a past vice-president of the Disability Rights Iowa Board of Directors and has served on the Graceland University Alumni Board of Directors. Scott currently serves on the Warren County Philanthropic Partnership Board of Directors, and is a past member of the Warren County Coalition Against Domestic Violence Board of Directors. He has received the American Cancer Society Distinguished Service Award and the American Heart Association Director’s Award. He has served on the Warren County Leadership Institute Board of Directors and is a member of the Indianola Noon Lion’s Club. Scott currently owns and operates a professional writing, communications, and community development company.
Scott Ourth lives in Ackworth, Iowa, with his wife, Dr. Heather Ourth, and their son Logan, a student at Indianola High School. Scott is an active member of the Community of Christ Church and is an accomplished outdoorsman. He enjoys reading history, studying the natural sciences, and extended canoe, hiking, and camping excursions.