Selden Spencer, Democrat
Dr. Selden Spencer is a Democrat running to represent District 49 in the Iowa House of Representatives. He is a partner with McFarland Clinic and is active in his church and community, having served on the Story County Soil and Water Commission for the last six years. Additional information about Dr. Spencer and his positions can be found on his website.
Why did you decide to run for this position?
Well, in truth, I’m very interested in politics. I've always been interested in politics, and the opportunity arose, and I think it matters what happens on a city level, a county level, a state level, a federal level. In terms of policy, I saw this as an opportunity to bring my concerns and my neighbors’ concerns to the state level.
If you were elected, what are some changes you would make?
The first order of business is that I don’t unilaterally come in and dictate what happens. And I have a list of concerns, and they’re at my website, and you’ve seen that already. The bottom line is I think the health care thing is what resonates most with people. I am on the receiving end in some respects as a doctor, and the way that we are providing health care and helping people that are sick in my district and through the state of Iowa, and through the country, is not very good. The state has chosen to privatize Medicaid, which has created just a crazy shell game of ‘How do we deny services and deny payment so that we take more money in than we pay out?’ Privatization of Medicaid is a mistake. I'm happy to try and revise that if at all possible. The bigger issue, though, for me personally — and I think it is in everybody’s background — is climate change. And I think if we do not have leadership on a state level, a city level, a federal level that takes this seriously and tries to come up with directions that might benefit us — reduce our carbon output and increase our carbon sequestration — we’re in a load of trouble. So I’m happy to run just on that issue alone, but I’ve served on the Soil and Water Commission for the past six years in Story County, and water quality is a major issue for me as well.
What is most important to you as a person and as a candidate?
The health care thing — trying to make some motions so that we make health care more affordable and accessible to everyone. Period.
What makes you stand out/why should people vote specifically for you?
I think, again, one thing you look for is that you have people with background and soul. I have practiced [medicine] in central Iowa for 30 years, and I’ve seen they need changes in health care and how my patients have suffered. And so I think that background is helpful in giving me perspective on health care issues. Likewise with water quality — my experience with the Soil and Water Commission. It’s not easy. I understand, it’s not simple. But at least I have some background or perspective on it, which I would like to bring to the state legislature.