Robidoux Grabs Most Votes in Six-Person Ankeny House Race But Still Faces Hurdle
In House District 37, Northview Middle School teacher Jim Robidoux gained the most votes in a six-person race but didn't get the 35 percent needed for an official win. He will have to be approved by delegates at a convention to get the spot on the Novembe
Jim Robidoux garnered the most votes Tuesday in a six-person race for Ankeny's House District 37, but he remains a couple votes shy of clinching the win.
According to unofficial Polk County Election Office returns, Robidoux received 714 votes for 34.38 percent; followed by Matt DeVries with 617 votes or 29.71 percent; John Landon with 360 votes or 17.33 percent; Jeffery A. Wright with 320 votes for 15.41 percent; Jacob Mason with 35 votes for 1.69 percent; and Stacey C. Rogers with 30 votes for 1.44 percent.
Robidoux needs a 35 percent mark needed to claim outright victory said fellow Republican Kevin Koester, who easily won his primary challenge for Ankeny's District 38 seat.
Koester said the state GOP party will have to call a convention for District 37 and ask delegates to officially choose a winner to be on the November ballot.
This is Robidoux's first try for elected office; his day job is as a Spanish teacher at Northview Middle School.
He said the two most important topics in the recent legislative session were education and property tax reform. "As a teacher and as a local owner I feel strongly about these issues."
Robidoux wants a cap of 2 percent on increases to residential property taxes and a 4 percent cap on commercial tax rates to protect home and business owners.
If sent to the legislature, Robidoux said he would work to prevent education mandates and regulations that prevent teachers from doing their best job.
"We must focus on getting the dollar down to the student in the classroom," he said. "We have to allow schools to do what is best for students. I will work to prevent burdensome regulations on education."
Kevin Koester On Road to Third Term
Koester captured 454 votes in his race, or 84.7 percent, to challenger Brett Nelson's 80 votes for 14.93 percent.
Koester, who is seeking his third term in District 38, praised the slate of GOP candidates for Ankeny's two legislative seats.
"I would be honored to work with any of those six," he said of Robidoux's race.
While the primary vote was about social issues — Koester is a staunch pro-life candidate and supporter of traditional marriage — he said the fall elections will be about the economy.
Ankeny voters are unhappy that the federal government's spending is out of control, Koester said, but they also want state and local governments to curb spending.
"I think there is an increase of people being a watchdog for the tax spending, that's still local," he said.
One indicator of that is last fall's local elections when four incumbent Ankeny school board members and the incumbent Ankeny City Council members seeking re-election were all rejected by voters. "People saw them as spenders," Koester said.
He hopes education will also be a focus in the fall campaign. If Iowa is to avoid federal penalties under the No Child Left Behind law, the state must step up teacher and principal accountability and evaluations, Koester said. The state must set a method for school boards to better measure student effectiveness and achievement, too.
"Teachers are the most important piece. We'll need to agree on those measures," he said.