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 position

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 Boone.

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 of Carroll.
A newcomer to elective politics, Nieland was introduced to county Republican faithful during Saturday night's hog roast fundraiser in Glidden.

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, he said.

"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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