Retiring Rep. Dave Loebsack reflects on Washington career

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 2:48 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - While Republican State Senator Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Democratic candidate Rita Hart are vying for votes, Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) is preparing for his final days in office.

The Democratic incumbent announced his retirement last year.

''I never thought I’d end my time in Congress with a pandemic," said Loebsack.

The former political professor announced in April of 2019 that he would be stepping down after spending 14 years representing the people of Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District.

Back In 2006, Loebsack defeated longtime Republican Congressman Jim Leach. At the time, it was a friendly race resulting in a major upset.

Most recently, Loebsack was re-elected in 2018 to Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, which also happened to vote in favor President Donald Trump.

“Look, there’s a part of me that would love to be there with a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate,” said Loebsack. “But, it’s time for me to hand the baton to someone else. Fourteen years is more than enough, I think, to be in U.S Congress.”

Pulling from his personal experience with childhood poverty, Loebsack campaigned on maintaining Social Security and Medicare, strengthening the middle class, and rural development.

“I’ve done a lot of little things and some not so little,” said Loebsack. “On broadband, I’ve got a number of bills passed that try to make sure we can get broadband to rural areas where they do not have it.”

Beyond legislation, he recalls a disastrous time during his tenure; the flood of 2008.

“When the floods hit in 2008, it covered almost my entire district,” he said. “For years, really, it took that long to recover.”

As for what’s to come, Loebsack contemplates a return to teaching.

“I’m not interested in teaching online though. I’ve never done that. I’m way too old to try to learn how to do that efficiently,” he joked.

Loebsack says he’ll continue to stay involved in the political process from his home in Iowa.

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