I am the husband of Mariannette Miller-Meeks. I write in response to a previous letter that accused her of “abandoning Ottumwa” and looking to “get ahead … at any cost.” Our national politics is filled with personal attacks but I never thought this style of politics would reach Ottumwa. Regrettably, it has. As a proud husband, I will not let these smear tactics go unanswered. Mariannette has lived in Ottumwa since 1997, when she joined a medical practice with two other ophthalmologists. Mariannete has served on various local committees, boards and commissions throughout the years and currently serves on the Wapello County Veterans Commission. When appointed by Gov. Branstad to be the director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, Mariannette resigned from her medical practice but continued to live in Ottumwa and drive to Des Moines every day. Upon leaving that position, she began employment with a hospital in West Burlington. Again, she opted to drive to and from Burlington every day rather than move from Ottumwa. We chose to live in Ottumwa and Ottumwa is and remains our home. It is disappointing some have resorted to smear tactics and personal attacks. This election is more important than that. It is about what is best for residents of Ottumwa, Fairfield, Bloomfield, Keosauqua and every other resident in the district. Mariannette is running to lower health care costs, create good paying jobs in our communities and to serve others. Before you vote on Nov. 6 I thought you should know the truth!

Curt Meeks

Ottumwa

I am writing to support Mary Stewart for State Senator. Mary is deeply knowledgeable in educational and economic development issues from her long career at Indian Hills Community College. She is a tireless worker who has spent countless hours in the past two years meeting and listening to residents throughout District 41, and she will represent our area well in the Iowa State Senate. She studies complex issues carefully. Unlike her opponent, she seeks out the opinions of others, listens thoughtfully and learns from these discussions. She works well with groups of people and is very experienced in building coalitions and regional partnerships. These skills will add to her effectiveness as our elected State Senator.

I look forward to voting for Mary Stewart for State Senator on November 6. Every vote counts. I urge you to make your vote count by choosing Mary Stewart.

Mary Ann Reiter

Ottumwa

I support Mary Stewart for the Iowa Senate District 41 because her values are my values. Mary believes every Iowan has the right to quality health care that’s both affordable and accessible. She will work to end the privatization of Medicaid, which has resulted in ineffective care for more than 600,000 Iowans. And she recognizes that mental health care in Iowa is nearly nonexistent, and will work to restore funding that is so desperately essential to treat those in need. Another essential for Iowans: educational opportunities. Mary knows, firsthand, how developing job skills in individuals can positively impact the entire community. She will work for public education funding to ensure financial equity between school districts, giving more educational opportunities to a greater number of students from a variety of financial backgrounds. In the past year and a half, Mary has been listening to the values and issues that are important to all of you as well. She has engaged with communities, meeting people and truly listening to their concerns. She has met voters in homes, cafes, union halls, community centers, sale barns, libraries and public parks. She has participated in countless events and parades to connect with voters in our area, and has worked tirelessly to understand what is important to the voters of District 41. No one is more committed to representing the needs of the people in District 41 than Mary Stewart. I hope you will join me in voting for Mary Stewart for the Iowa Senate.

Peggy Beeler

Ottumwa

We need Mary Stewart as our new state senator. Support for the education of our children, our young adults, and our workers needing retraining is one of the most important things that our state senators and representatives can do for the people of Iowa, and it is one of the things that the Republicans in control of both Houses of the Iowa Legislature and the governorship have failed to do. Under their watch, the philosophy of “cutting taxes no matter what” has hurt our schools. 

If public schools from elementary through college levels are allowed to go downhill, then it’s more difficult to attract new businesses that need educated workers and/or attract educated workers to our state that want a good education for their children. If teacher pay is too low, more teachers will look elsewhere for jobs. Most teachers do not go into teaching just for the money, but they want a decent standard of living for their families and many still have their own education to pay for.

We need a state senator representing southeast Iowa who understands the importance of education, has experience in that field, and understands the problems that need to be solved to improve it. That’s why we need Mary Stewart as our new state senator!

Michele Weber

Ottumwa