What is your story? (Who you are, where you are from, your career, etc)
I’m a recovering partisan who has come to believe that I would rather serve my community than any party. As an adopted Iowan, I grew up here and went to school here, moved away from here and then decided to come back and settle down here. I’m also a writer and philanthropist (currently serving the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and the Alzheimer’s Association). I spend my time running my campaign, engaging in political conversations, working a full-time job in marketing, and running my own marketing agency.
Tell us about your state/district / race?
My race for Iowa House District 19 is going to be interesting. The incumbent is an eight-term Republican without any leadership assignments who believes in coal energy (in a state which produces 36.6% of its energy from wind), and who has never really faced an electoral challenge. This district is also a mix of suburban Des Moines and quintessential rural Iowa. The most interesting piece about this district is the mix of registered voters: 40% Republican, 38% Independent, 22% Democrat.
Why did you decide to run as an independent?
I don’t believe any one person or any one party has a monopoly on good ideas. In Iowa, we have some very serious issues ahead of us and our politics has become so divided, so toxic, that no one is listening to each other, even though the challenges are mounting. I wanted to be able to stand up for the voters and say what needed to be said and know that I am truly representing the voters and not a party.
How do we fix our dysfunctional political system?
The two most important things which need to happen are to elect true Independents (and support them) and for voters to become more engaged in their communities. Elected officials are not going to do what you want them to do 100% of the time. They can’t. But what everyone can do is listen more, seek understanding, and practice kindness and humility.
What is something you could offer voters in your area that your opponents could not?
A promise that I’m actually going to listen. Listening doesn’t mean the action is always going to be what a particular voter wants, but I’m going to let the facts guide me (should I win) and always do what supports the majority of our community. My party won’t be telling me what to do, the people will.
What has been you experience running as an independent candidate so far?
Voters seem to be interested … intrigued perhaps. One voter, an older gentleman stopped by our table last weekend and picked up a brochure and asked what I stand for. I told him, and he followed up with a comment about being a “politician” and asking what my party was. I said with a smile, “I don’t have one, the people are my party.” I think that piqued his interest and he walked off reading my brochure and eating his ice cream.
What is the greatest threat facing your state neither party is willing to address?
Not doing enough to support everyone in our communities. This ties to criminal justice reform, minimum wage legislation, and education reform; we are not supporting everyone.
To learn more about Richard visit his campaign site at https://richarddedor.com/