Editor:

Please consider voting for my good friend Andy McKean. Let me suggest why I believe he is the right choice in these uncertain times. Andy has dedicated most of his adult life to public service at the State, County and local level. He clearly has the experience and knowledge of the issues. He knows the needs of his District. Representative McKean diligently maintains contact with a variety his constituents in order to understand the interests of us all. Quality available healthcare, the environment and public education are high priorities on his agenda. No one has worked harder to share up-to-date information about the COVID pandemic, derecho recovery and the assistance available.

Now I want to address the elephant in the room. Andy and I have had frequent discussions about politics over the years. We were both lifelong moderate Republicans, myself for 52 years. I was active in local politics in my younger years; was a president of a large Chamber of Commerce and served on a George H.W. Bush Advisory Committee.

But, we both became alarmed when the new populist nationalist politics entered the arena at both the national and state levels. In my case, the divisiveness, polarization, the incessant lying and deception, the vulgarity and cruel schadenfreude policies quickly became unacceptable. Governments can’t function this politically polarized. Family separation and putting vulnerable kids in cages was my turning point. Americans don’t do that. That is not how you solve the immigration problem. Now we are living with lack of leadership in confronting and addressing the pandemic and recovery. These tendencies have infused themselves in Republican State politics. It became a crisis of conscience. I didn’t leave the GOP, the GOP left me. McKean’s courage in following his conscience should be admired.

Whether as a Democrat or a Republican, Andy McKean has the qualities and qualifications to serve District 58, the State of Iowa and our best interest. His history demonstrates that he puts people above politics at a time when that is so vitally important.

Jim McElheny

Anamosa

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