Democrat Deidre DeJear calls for mental health education and funding

The Iowa State Fair brings together many of Iowa’s best parties, Democrat Deidre DeJear said while speaking to the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox on Saturday.

“The community that we have right now, as we see it in action throughout this Iowa State Fair experience, is something I think is worth fighting for,” said declared the Governor from the Soapbox stage of the Fair’s Grand Concourse.

But that community also includes those who couldn’t be at the Fair, she said, or couldn’t afford to come.

Iowa Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deidre DeJear speaks at the Des Moines Soapbox Political Registry during the Iowa State Fair on Saturday in Des Moines.

“This state has so much good that exists in it, but unfortunately right now we are all facing challenges that I believe we can overcome,” she said.

DeJear, who is running to unseat Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds in November, said as she travels the state and listens to Iowans talk about their struggles, she hears from people who have visions to improve their communities but need more state investment. She said “Iowa is worth the work” and that she wants to represent those Iowans in part by increasing funding in areas like mental health care and public schools.

She said she heard: “‘We’re fine with what we have. We need the state to show up for us more.’ Well, the state is going to come forward for this whole state under my leadership.”

During her roughly 17-minute remarks at the registry’s soapbox, she specifically pointed to the 2.5% increase in state aid Republicans have given to schools this year, which she says , is not enough in the face of record inflation and the shortage of teachers and bus drivers. . The state needs to increase funding for education and could responsibly dip into its rainy day fund to support things like mental health care and address the shortage of mental health beds in treatment facilities. , she said.

“From the outside, looking inside, one might look at our mental health care system and think Iowa needs to be broke — Iowa needs to have no solutions,” she said. “Well, having traveled to this state, I know the people of Iowa know what’s good for Iowa. I know we’re not short of solutions. And guess what, good folks. We’re not broke either.”

DeJear also emphasized her opposition to Reynolds’ position on abortion. Reynolds is pushing to reinstate Iowa’s 2018 law banning abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.

“This election is about our freedom,” she said. “This election is about our voting rights. This election is about a woman being able to go to her doctor (office), make a decision that is good for her, and not have to consider the opinion of Kim Reynolds . That’s what it’s about. .”

DeJear, an activist and small-business owner, previously mounted an unsuccessful campaign for secretary of state in 2018. A July Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll showed Reynolds holding a 17-point lead in the race. Reynolds also reported more than 10 times the amount of cash on hand as DeJear did in July.

Libertarian Rick Stewart, who is also challenging Reynolds, spoke at the register’s soapbox earlier on Saturday. Reynolds, who had attended the fair each of its first three days so far, was asked to speak but declined.

After: See candidate speeches, photos and read articles from Soapbox 2022

Ian Richardson covers the Iowa Statehouse for the Des Moines Register. Contact him at [email protected], 515-284-8254, or on Twitter at @DMRIanR.

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