An ISU student is taking his political plans to the next level.
Stephen Quist, senior in marketing, is running to represent the newly formed District 46 for the Iowa House of Representatives, against current Rep. Lisa Heddens, who has her position since 2002.
It may surprise people someone who is still in college would challenge Heddens, since she has been in office for 10 years.
However, Quist seems confident that even though Heddens been in office, students and residents of Ames are looking for something different.
When asked why he is seeking office, Quist said: “Though Lisa Heddens is a very nice lady, I would focus more on the students at Iowa State and make sure they have a good future when they finish their education.”
He strongly believes in making Iowa more business-friendly and giving tax cuts to local businesses.
Having more businesses could give graduating college students in Iowa more job opportunities. Quist said: “The average student leaves college with nearly $30,000 in debt and then has trouble finding a job to pay it off. I want to change that.”
Although there are 60 days until the election, Quist believes he has a very good chance. He also thinks he will have a very good percentage of the student vote, since he wants to make changes to improve students’ futures after college.
Heddens said she has a strong plan if she is re-elected. She said she would “continue making strives in Iowa’s economy and continue to improve the job market.” She said she would also “keep tuition costs of college down to keep students in school, because this will help get well-educated people into opening job positions.”
Heddens feels confident she has the support of her community.
“I’ve lived in Ames for 28 years; I know the people here, and I listen to them because I am committed to making my community better,” Heddens said. “I try to represent every party in the community and listen to everyone.”
Heddens would like to make sure the people in Iowa can maintain a good quality of living and count on a good education system.
So how do the students on campus feel about this?
“I believe Stephen Quist has genuine concerns for the future of the students at Iowa State,” said Kyle Etzel, junior in pre-business and president of ISU College Republicans. “He doesn’t want to see them stuck in debt for the years to come.”
Etzel believes Heddens doesn’t have as much concern for the economic system students will be facing in the future.
Etzel said Heddens is a little “out of touch.”
“Knowing Quist personally, [I] believe he would be
a much better representative of the students’ interests,” Etzel said.
Offering a different opinion, Abhishek Vemuri, senior in electrical engineering and president of the ISU College Democrats, said he believes Heddens has “done good work while in office; she cares about investing in the students of today’s future.
“Quist has a very hands-off approach to the improvement of our government in the future,” Vemuri said.
While Vemuri doesn’t agree with Quist’s policies, he believes Heddens has a better chance because she has built up a lot more relationships in the community than Quist has.
Vemuri also said that when it comes down to it, Heddens just has much more experience than Quist does.
Though the election is 60 days away, both candidates seems to be very confident of their following.
Though anything could happen, people will have to ask themselves if they would like to stick with someone they have known for the past 10 years or if they believe we need to get a new person and new ideas in office.