O’Brien talks about her House D-21 bid


July 30th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

A rural Atlantic woman is vying to become the Democratic representative for Iowa House District 21, which covers Adams, Union, Cass, and West Pottawattamie Counties, and is currently held by incumbent Republican Tom Moore, of Griswold.

Denise O’Brien

Denise O’Brien, who has farmed in the County for over 42-years, says she’s running for the Iowa House because she wants the voice of rural Iowans to be heard. She said she decided to run in the November General Election when she learned her opponent was going to go unchallenged. She said she had no intention of getting into politics again (She ran for Secretary of Agriculture in 2006), but she felt women, rural Iowa, and Democrats were under-represented in the House of Representatives and Governorship. O’Brien said also she would the same thing if she were an incumbent, because “It’s how democracy works.”

She says she’s always sought to find answers for how rural communities and farmers can survive and thrive. O’Brien says losing a small farm base to large farms has been a big detriment, but there’s still opportunities for small farm operations. Working on economic development issues in conjunction with technology can help people live in rural areas and participate in the rural economy yet be worldwide in their influence. And, while the population in Iowa tends to trend toward the urban areas, O’Brien says some people who’ve left rural Iowa are becoming disenchanted with the urban life for various reasons, and look to return home. She’s said it’s very good for people to leave and experience the big city life, and then to come back once they’ve had their fill of the rush and headaches associated with traffic, crime and crowds.

O’Brien left Iowa as a teenager, but came back, found love and decided to stay. The wider-world experiences she had allowed her to bring back fresh ideas to help the community. She says the next big challenge Iowa faces, is agri-business/agriculture, including issues caused by climate change. Some people she says some accept the premise of climate change, while other deny it, but her experience tells her things have changed, and Iowa needs to be better prepared for it.

And, as other candidates for office have said, Iowans are concerned about healthcare, education and the farm economy. O’Brien says she’ll work to address those issues in the Iowa House, if elected in November.

IA House District 21