Home News Monday News, June 6

Monday News, June 6



Former President Donald Trump has endorsed three Iowa Republicans who are unopposed in Tuesday’s Primary election.

Deidre DeJear, the Democratic Party’s candidate for governor, tweeted the Reynolds and Trump’s extremism works for special interest, but their narrow vision is no good for everyday Iowans.



Le Mars will be the site of a town hall meeting today featuring Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand. Sand will hold the town hall meeting at Foster Park in Le Mars at 2:30 this afternoon. Sand is seeking the Democratic nomination for auditor in tomorrow’s primary election. There are also two Republicans seeking the nomination for that office: Todd Halbur of Clive, and Mary Ann Hanusa of Council Bluffs.

In northwest Iowa, primary elections in many cases decide the winner in November. For example, in Plymouth County, Republican incumbent Tom Jeneary is running unopposed in tomorrow’s primary. and there’s no Democrat running in tne newly drawn House District 3. This includes northern Plymouth County, and southern Sioux County. The district includes Le Mars, Akron and Remsen, as well as Hawarden and Orange City.
In House District 1, which includes a portion of Sioux City, Democrat JD Scholten is seeking the nomination. There is no Republican listed in that primary.
The new House District 4, includes Lyon and northern Sioux County. The Republican primary pits incumbent Skyler Wheeler, who moved out of the new 3rd district to avoid a primary with Jeneary, but still faces an opponent, 19 year old Kendal Zylstra of Larchwood, a recent university graduate, seeks to become the youngest legislator in Iowa history. Wheeler had that distinction when he was first elected two terms ago. There are no Democrats running in that primary.
House District 13, which includes parts of Plymouth, Cherokee, most of Woodbury, and all of Monona County, includes no incumbents, but two Republicans in the primary. They are Ken Carlson of Onawa and Mark Peters of Cleghorn. Both are in the running for the first time. There are no Democrats listed in that primary.
In District 14, which includes part of Sioux City and Sergeant Bluff, Incumbent Jacob Bossman seeks the Republican nomination, but there are no Democrats listed in the primary. The biggest Republican logjam is in the primary in House district 5, where three candidates seek the nomination. They include incumbent Dennis Bush of Cherokee. But another GOP candidate, Zachary Dieken of Granville, was endorsed by Governor Kim Reynolds. A third candidate is Thomas Kuiper of Sibley. The fifth House district includes Osceola, and O’Brien counties, and parts of Cherokee and Buena Vista Counties.


Primary elections feature statewide races for offices which don’t get a lot of exposure.
Secretary of State Paul Pate, a Republican is seeking the nomination without opposition. The Democrat primary includes two candidates, Joel Miller of Robins and Eric Van Lancker of Clinton.
State Auditor Rob Sand, a Democrat, was in Le Mars this afternoon. He is unopposed in the primary, but faces one of two Republicans from the primary…Todd Halbur of Clive and Mary Ann Hanusa of Council Bluffs.
State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, a Democrat, was first elected to that office in 1982. He is the nation’s longest-serving Treasurer of State. He has no opposition in the primary election tomorrow. One Republican seeks to challenge him – Roby Smith of Davenport.
Republican Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig of Spencer is running unopposed in his primary. One Democrat, John Norwood of West Des Moines, is on the primary ballot. Naig is seeking a second term in office. Norwood is a Polk County soil and water commissioner.
In the attorney general’s race, long-time incumbent Tom Miller is running unopposed in the primary. He is the nation’s longest-serving attorney general, in that office since 1995. In the Republican primary is Brenna Bird of Dexter, Iowa. This is her second run for attorney general, having run against Miller in 2010.


Food pantries across Iowa are seeing an increase in demand as inflation continues to have an impact on families. Food Bank of Iowa spokesperson, Annette Hacker, says the dollar isn’t going as far as it used to with record food, fuel, and housing prices “leaving a lot of Iowans — many of our neighbors — hard-pressed.” Hacker says, “some people they haven’t seen in a couple of years…once again are needing help.” Anyone who wants to help is urged to make a donation.



There are two statewide races in Tuesday’s Primary election for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat.  Republican Chuck Grassley is seeking an 8th term in the U.S. Senate.

Grassley campaigned in Iowa on Saturday, including an event with Governor Kim Reynolds in West Des Moines. Jim Carlin, a state senator from Sioux City, is running against Grassley in the Republican Primary.

Three candidates are running in the Democratic Party’s U.S. Senate Primary. Democrat Mike Franken held a get out the vote rally in Des Moines Sunday evening. Franken, a retired Navy admiral, says if he’s elected Senator, rebuilding the Iowa Democratic Party will be part of his mission. “A new level of progressive thought, liberal thought — like Iowa used to be,” Franken said. “… we were the generator of good ideas.” Franken reviewed what he considers faults in Grassley’s voting record and told the crowd he’s prepared to respond to Republican campaign tactics.

Democrat Abby Finkenauer, a former Iowa congresswoman, spoke to supporters Sunday afternoon in West Des Moines. “We need you to vote, vote, vote Tuesday. If you haven’t already, go on Tuesday, bring your friends, bring your neighbors, bring everybody,” Finkenauer said, “and then we also need you in that General.” Finkenauer told the crowd she got more votes in her congressional district than Democrats who were running for governor and U.S. Senate in 2018 and 2020.

Glenn Hurst, a physician from Minden, campaigned at the Arts Festival in Iowa City on Sunday.



Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lt Governor Adam Gregg have two stops in northwest Iowa this morning.  The two will tour Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon at 10:30 this morning, and this afternoon, attend a ribbon cutting ceremony at Prosperity House in Sioux City.  That event takes place at 2 pm. These are not campaign stops, although Reynolds is seeking election tomorrow in the Republican primary for Governor.  In the Democrat primary, Diedre De Jear is running unopposed in the primary.



A man is in custody, accused of shattering the window of a downtown Sioux City church during Sunday’s church service. Pastor Aaron Iacino was delivering the sermon at the Holiness Church when it happened at about 10:45.

It turned out to be the metal lid from the trash cans the City of Sioux City has placed in the downtown area. Iacino says the congregation was startled, but no one was injured.

Iacino says police quickly arrested the suspect, 34-year-old Victor Cieselski.

Cieselski is charged with aggravated assault and third degree criminal mischief.



The Iowa National Guard has confirmed the 33-year-old gunman who killed two young women outside an Ames church was a sergeant in the Guard and one of his victims had been in the Guard since 2019. Twenty-two-year-old Eden Montang (MON-tang) was a mortuary affairs specialist with an Iowa National Guard battalion based in Boone. Johnathan Whitlach, a human resources specialist in the same unit, had been in the Guard for nearly seven years.

Story County Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald says the murder and suicide outside an Ames church Thursday was a targeted domestic situation.

The sheriff says a third woman escaped and then Whitlach shot himself.  The two women were I-S-U students, on their way to a bible study.  Fitzgerald says Whitlach and Montag had recently broken up a relationship.

Fitzgerald did not yet know the hometowns of the two women who were killed.  He says they are also trying to determine if Whitlach followed them to the church.

Fitzgerald says Whitlach was focused on Montag and didn’t have any intention of shooting others in the church.

The sheriff believes there was a no-contact order against Whitlach.  Fitzgerald says they will dig deeper into what may’ve led to the shooting.

Fitzgerald says deputies arrived four minutes after the 9-11 calls about the shooting and everything was already over. He says there were some 80 people in the church at the time, and it could have been worse had Whitlach entered the church.



The Iowa Board of Regents has approved making the Iowa Center for School Mental Health a permanent part of the University of Iowa’s College of Education. The center was launched about a year ago with a combination of 20 million dollars in federal pandemic relief and state funds. Allison Bruhn — the center’s interim director — says there are long-term impacts if students don’t get the support they need, since at least half of Americans with mental health difficulties began struggling before the age of 14. The Iowa Center for School Mental Health is offering training to teachers and conducting research in Iowa schools to figure out what approaches work best to address students’ needs.  University of Iowa officials say they started getting calls for help from parents and educators the day after Governor Reynolds announced the center’s existence during a news conference.