WATERLOO – About 50 people heard from Liz Mathis, the Democratic state senator running for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District seat in the Nov. 8 election, at the Waterloo Rotary Club meeting Monday afternoon.
She shared information about her background and answered questions inside the Waterloo Convention Center at the Sullivan Brothers Plaza.
Republican incumbent Ashley Hinson is running for re-election and addressed the Rotarians earlier this year.
Mathis spoke of her upbringing on the farm near DeWitt and her former career in broadcast journalism.
After being asked for years to run for higher office, the state senator said the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol, following then-President Donald Trump’s November 2020 election defeat, was one motivator that “solidified” her decision to throw her hat into the ring.
“I want this to be a civil, policy-focused and logical discussion of issues and possibilities,” she said. “I want our campaign and our service after we win to be beneficial to all, but not for those who want to tear down our democracy.”
Mathis said she meets the criteria of the Rotarian’s ethical guide, the “Four-Way Test” of things they “think, say or do” — one being: Will it build “goodwill” and “better friendships?”
She said she’s received campaign contributions from mostly Iowans, members of all political parties and people from all walks of life.
Mathis also spoke to her work to address the state’s privatization of Medicaid, mental health crisis, and teacher shortage, as well as her support for the bipartisan federal infrastructure bill and in creating a path to citizenship for those in the country who abide by the laws, pay taxes and support communities.
And she noted that “Democrats do vote for tax cuts.”
Mathis answered Rotarians’ questions on topics ranging from the next federal farm bill to the southern border, energy independence, infrastructure funding and resources to support new people moving into the country.
She said President Joe Biden’s administration “isn’t doing enough” to address the border. One of her suggestions was addressing inadequate technology for processing legal immigrants’ paperwork.
Additionally, Mathis called for more support of renewable energies like wind and solar, but also “independently” drilling for oil.
“President Biden approved E15 for the rest of the country, and that’s good for farmers, and it’s good for all of us. It reduces carbon emissions. In terms of independent energy, we need to square up with OPEC, and make sure that they are not price gauging all the time, and lower our costs for gasoline,” she added.
And a final question asked about campaign spending and how come up with a “better finance campaign system.”
“I got to tell you it’s not sustainable, the way that we have campaigns set up now, and I won’t even tell you how many calls I’ve made in terms of trying to get donations — right now, the ads that you see on the air on the Republican side are being paid for by a super PAC … the super PACS, something has got to be done about that,” Mathis said. “It just takes fairness away from elections.”