SIOUX CITY | Within two hours of an announcement by state Rep. Ron Jorgensen on Monday that he won't run for re-election next year, a fellow Republican came forward to say he wants the Iowa House District 6 seat.
Jacob Bossman, of Sioux City, the regional director for U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley and a former Woodbury County Republican Party official, said the time is right to seek elective office.
"I believe I have a similar demeanor as Rep. Jorgensen, which will prove beneficial in serving the people of House District 6," Bossman said.
Jorgensen, R-Sioux City, will leave the Legislature at the end of 2016 after serving three terms covering six years.
First elected in 2010, Jorgensen holds a key position as chairman of the House Education Committee. He has played a big role in determining the level of education funding in Iowa and led efforts to toughen anti-bullying laws in the state's K-12 schools.
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In a release, Jorgensen said he never intended to become a career politician and he plans to give more focus to his job as vice president for business and finance at Morningside College in Sioux City.
“After six years in the Iowa House and my desire to spend more time at home and devote more attention to my full-time job at the college, I felt it was time to step aside and give this wonderful opportunity to others," Jorgensen said. "I’m looking forward to this next session, and I will do all I can to hopefully make a positive difference in people’s lives.”
House District 6 covers the Morningside area of Sioux City and the Sergeant Bluff, Bronson and Salix areas. The filing period for candidates begins in the spring. If more than one Republican candidate enters the race, a June primary would determine the nominee for November 2016.
Bossman plans a formal campaign announcement in March. He is a 2002 Morningside College graduate and from 2005 to 2010 was city co-chairman of the Woodbury County Republican Party. He and his wife, Carmen, are raising twin daughters in the city.
Bossman said he has learned important lessons about public service from working for Grassley since 2003.
Jorgensen praised Bossman but said it is too early to endorse a candidate.
“I've found him to be level-headed and someone who will be able to work with others to get things done. He understands the needs of this area," Jorgensen said.