DES MOINES, Iowa – Jesse Green, 35, of Harcourt is the state senator-elect for Iowa Senate District 24 that includes Boone, Greene, Hamilton counties, and the southeast corner of Webster County, and the northwest corner of Story County. The district had an open seat after State Senator Jerry Behn, R-Boone, decided not to run for re-election. After winning a four-way Republican primary in June, Greene easily defeated his Democratic opponent Cynthia Oppedal Paschen 65.7 percent (21,732) to 34.2 percent (11,327).
Green is a 5th generation farmer who was born and raised near Harcourt. He was involved in 4-H, church youth groups and attended Community Christian School in Fort Dodge.
“These experiences taught me the importance of being active within the community and to be an active part of solutions, not the problems,” Green told The Iowa Torch.
After he graduated high school, he said he wanted to stay on the farm to establish himself in that occupation. Green’s family farm grows corn, soybeans, and hay. They also raise rodeo livestock such as bucking horses and roping cattle.
He later joined the Webster County Farm Bureau Board and Dayton Rodeo and Celebration Committee in his 20s.
“The Dayton Rodeo has been in existence for over 80 years and is the 3rd largest rodeo in Iowa. I was honored to be the youngest Chairman in its history,” Green said.
Green has studied at Emmaus Bible College and Iowa Central Community College. He also taught Bible classes to Jr. High students at his alma mater, Community Christian School.
“Whatever has brought you joy in life, give back to those things,” Green says is a statement that has shaped many of his decisions.
He was asked to consider running for Iowa Senate by a friend who served on the Webster County Board of Supervisors.
“I wrestled and prayed about this decision. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that my previous life experiences had shaped me for this opportunity. I also came to the conclusion that if I said no to this opportunity to serve, I would always look back with regret,” Green said.
Campaigning provided a learning opportunity.
“The number one thing I learned through campaigning is that there isn’t anything more effective than a one on one conversation. When the human element is removed from our discourse, negative things will fill that void. We must challenge ourselves to reach out to others and work on our dialogue. Reaching out to others by door knocking and having conversations with strangers is hard and uncomfortable, but it is truly essential if we desire to be effective public servants,” Green told The Iowa Torch.
He said he has four priorities as a new state senator; the first is advancing a pro-life agenda.
“I am pro-life and believe life begins at conception. I was very disappointed when the ‘Heartbeat Bill’ was struck down by unelected judges a few years back. We must lay the foundation to make this bill a reality someday by allowing the people to have their voice with a pro-life amendment to our state Constitution,” Green said.
He also wants to see Second Amendment language added to the Iowa Constitution. The proposed constitutional amendment that affirms Iowans’ right to keep and bear arms and requires strict scrutiny before it can be infringed passed in the Iowa House and Iowa Senate in 2019 but needs to pass again during the 89th General Assembly before it is placed on the ballot.
“We must continue to protect Iowans’ right to bear arms,” Green said.
He also wants to flatten and simplify the tax code and then added he wants to advance school choice.
“In order to make our good education system better, we must give more power and resources to parents to make the best decisions for their children. If parents and students are our priorities, then how we fund education must reflect this and put more trust in them, not government,” Green explained.