MASON CITY — An executive at a community college in the Sioux City area is announcing she’ll face Congressman Steve King in June’s Republican primary. Dr. Cyndi Hanson is a native of Mapleton who currently lives in Sioux City. She is the executive director of Northeast Community College’s extended campus operation in South Sioux City.
Hanson kicked off her campaign this morning with a stop at a downtown Mason City coffee shop, saying she’s been frustrated with the division and gridlock that’s taking place in Washington. She says, “That has really prompted me to take the steps of announcing my candidacy today. I’m solution focused and collaborative in the way I work, so really seeing what’s happening is a great deal of frustration for me. I think the only way we can change the current situation is to change the players we have involved.”
Hanson says she’s heard from a lot of people who say King’s “divisive rhetoric” isn’t good for Iowans. She says, “As I’m an Iowan and I talk with a lot of other people from our district, I think very often we are not about dividing people and separating and being divisive, but a lot more about pulling people together and recognizing the strengths in people. So yes that is certainly a piece of it, I think it no longer represents Iowa.”
Hanson says she is more interested in what Iowans think compared to King. She says, “I want to spend the time in every one of the counties and take time to talk to Iowans. That’s not been an avenue that he’s taken in the last few years. The other thing is really working to make collaborative relationships that advance things, and not working against something as much as working for something.”
Hanson says King doesn’t always remember the people in the 39-county Fourth District that he represents. She says, “Unfortunately, I think the longer you are away from your constituency, the harder it is to remember that, and remembering that’s what comes first. That’s first and foremost is remembering who we represent. I don’t represent my own interests, I don’t necessarily represent the interest of a whole party line, but what’s best for the constituents of Iowa. I think that’s the really important piece is keeping that in mind and making that the first and foremost thing overall.”
Hanson was also appointed two years ago by Governor Branstad to the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service. King is seeking a ninth term in Congress. Four others have announced they are seeking the Democratic nomination in the Fourth District race: Webster City transit bus driver Paul Dahl, Spencer city councilwoman Leann Jacobsen, former professional baseball player J. D. Scholten of Sioux City, and Ames pediatrician John Paschen.