Carroll man, 22, to try for Spot in Iowa House
The Carroll Herald, 1991 by Joe Baumhover
In the wake of political redistricting, a young
Republican has decided to run fo a spot as a representative in
the Iowa House for the new 80th District.
The candidacy of Dan Nieland [son of Norman Nieland
and grandson of Walt Nieland] of Carroll was announced at a Republican
fundraiser Saturday evening in Glidden.
Nieland, 22, said, "People might not take me
seriously at the outset," but felt that they would be more
ready to put their faith in him as they came to know him better.
Nieland is the only candidate announced so far for
the House seat which will be available in 1992. Nieland has held
residential hall position at the University of Northern Iowa,
but no elected public office.
What he enjoys about politics, he said, is "the
people aspect;" he intends to consider feedback and the opinions
of those in the district carefully when making decisions, he said.
Also while attending college, Nieland worked in
U.S. Senator Grassley's office in Waterloo as an intern where,
he said, he acted as a "listening device" for people
wanting opinions and concerns expressed to the Senator.
Nieland is a political science major at UNI with
one semester of study left, after which he plans to move back
to Carroll, where his parents, Norm and Sherry Nieland, live.
"I chose to return to come back to Carroll
because I like the community I grew up in," he said.
Republican Nieland announces bid for legislative
The Times Herald, 1991 by John Gillis
As a political science major
at the University of Northern Iowa, Dan Nieland of Carroll naturally
considered elective politics as a career option.
Then along came reapportionment of legislative districts
and a decision by incumbent State Rep. Mike Peterson, D-Carroll,
to run for the Senate seat held by Republican jack Nystrom of
Äctually, I probably would have run against
Peterson anyway, "said Nielad, a Republican.
Ï know it sounds corny but I enjoyed growing
up in Carroll and always wanted to come back and do something
for the community," he said.
No other Republicans have announced as candidates.
Incumbent Democrat rep. Gene Blanshan of Scranton has indicated
he may run for Peterson's House seat.
Nieland, 22, attended St. Lawrence elementary school and graduated
from Kuemper High School. He is the son of Norm and Sharon Nieland
A newcomer to elective politics, Nieland was introduced to county
Republican faithful during Saturday night's hog roast fundraiser
In an interview from Cedar Falls, Nieland, 22, said
his interest in politics has long predated his decision to run
in the 1992 election.
That interest eventually led him to change his major
at UNI from accounting to political science.
Ï still have the accounting base - which could
come in handy iin working with state budgets, "he said, laughing.
From January to June this year, Nieland worked as
an intern in Sen. Charles Grassley's Waterloo office.
The internship was a valuable first-hand experience
of how an elected official's office is rn.
"Before that it had been from books and classes
on government. But this was the real thing," Nieland said.
"I found that I liked the challenge of casework
and working with government agencies to help people with their
problems," he added.
It was on a long car trip with Grassley that Nieland
brought up the subject of running for office with the GOP senator.
"My mind had already been made up but he told
me to run. Then he said the hardest part, at 22, would be getting
people to take me seriously, "he said.
"But Grassley was only 22 when he first ran
for office," he added.
The conservative lawmaker has made such an impression
on the young Republican that he now describes himself as a "pro-life,
pro-business Grassley Republican."
Nieland sees no handicap in that description for
a candidate for office running in heavily Democratic Carroll County.
"I come from a family of Democrats. They're
not liberal and I'm not a liberal," he sad. "I think
I reflect the values of the community better than a liberal Democrat."
As a student, Nieland has done research papers on
how Carroll County compares demographically and politically with
the rest of the state.
'That research shows that the county is 66 percent
Catholic, well-educated, heavily Democratic, but socially conservative,
"I don't think that some of the Democrats
we've had as representatives give us the kin of representative
government we should have," he added.
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