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Fort Madison city council member running for Iowa House

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Rebecca Bowker, left, is running for the newly created Iowa House District 100 as a Democrat.

Rebecca Bowker is running for the Democratic nomination in the newly created Iowa House District 100.

Republican Martin Graber currently represents the area.

Bowker has served the First Ward on the Fort Madison City Council since 2019.

Iowa House District 100 covers much of Lee County.

Bowker said in order to combat labor shortages and create new jobs in the region, leaders need to address housing and transportation issues.

“We need to bring more people in,” Bowker said. “We need to bring people into housing that is good, and we need to provide public transportation for those people who cannot or do not have a reliable vehicle.”

Bowker is originally from Wisconsin, and moved to Fort Madison in 1995 with her young son in tow.

She currently works as executive officer at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.

Bowker said Fort Madison and Keokuk have similar, but different histories.

The two cities also have similar, but different challenges for the future.

“There are unique challenges that face Keokuk. They need more streets repaired, they need sidewalks,” she said. “They need heavier recruitment for some of their service industries. In Fort Madison, they’re working on their sidewalks and their streets, and their need is more heavily into the factory settings.”

Bowker said the Lee County Democrats approached her about running for the house seat.

One of the reasons she decided to run, she said, is related to the 2020 election.

“I am very frustrated by the amount of misinformation being put out nationally and locally about the previous election,” Bowker said. “And frankly, I feel like southeast Iowa just deserves better than that.”

Graber, formerly the chair of the Lee County Republicans, is serving his first term.

He was elected to House District 83 in 2020, defeating incumbent Jeff Kurtz with 53% of the vote.