PATRICK'S STORY & MISSION
My name is Patrick Wronkiewicz. I’m a Marine Corps veteran, a senior at the University of Iowa and a candidate for Iowa State Senate District 43. I’m running because I feel that our current representation in the Iowa State Senate no longer represents the best interests of our Hawkeye Community. During my time at the University of Iowa, I have served in leadership with the University of Iowa Veterans Association, I’ve been elected by the student body as a senator on student government, I was an intern in the University of Iowa’s office of governmental relations, and most recently I was president of the College Republicans.
State funding to the University of Iowa is the biggest issue facing this district. With the University being the area’s biggest economic driver, it is important that we have a State Senator who is willing to reach across the aisle and not let petty politics stand in the way to these crucial funds. When higher education funding gets cut, students see an increase in tuition, staff and faculty see a decrease in wages and pay increases, and private sector jobs (such as workers on new University construction projects) leave the district. To achieve a freeze in tuition and to improve the economic prosperity of the area, I pledge to put the issue of higher education funding above all else.
There is no mistake about it: powerful special interests and corporate funded Super-PACs have taken control of the politics in our University Community. Despite never having a serious challenger in the past 20 years, my opponent Senator Joe Bolkcom has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his campaign, with the top donors every year being powerful special interests and lobbyist controlled political action committees. I believe that state senate seats belong to the people -- not the billionaires. That is why for my campaign, I pledge to be grassroots funded, and to accept ZERO dollars from corporations, political action committees, and lobbyist controlled special interests.
From conversations with students and business leaders during my time as a student at the University of Iowa and as a Senator on Student Government, one of the most agreed upon issues is the need to address the misguided 21 ordinance. We all have a friend who has been affected by this unfair law, and we’ve seen how students’ academic and financial well-being have been negatively impacted because of it. I think it is absurd that a sober student under 21 in a bar past 10:00pm can be subject to greater penalties than a similar student being intoxicated outside a bar at 10:01. If elected, I would fight to pass a bill similar to the one introduced but never passed in 2015 that would prevent the current unfair targeting of University students, and put an end to this terrible ordinance.
Too many Iowans have to face the choice of going broke or going without health insurance. During this last year alone, individual insurance premiums in Iowa have shot up a shocking 57% causing over 25,000 people who previously bought health insurance to be priced out of the individual market. The skyrocketing costs of health insurance in Iowa is due to the lack of available options available on the market. I believe that quality affordable healthcare should be accessible to all Iowans, and that the Iowa Legislature shouldn't wait for Washington D.C. to solve this problem. I support a plan that would build on a bill signed into law last year that further expands health choice in Iowa, and that would ensure that middle class Iowans have as many healthcare options as possible for themselves and their families.
I support a lower tax burden for all Iowans. I believe that excessive taxation stifles innovation, dissuades investment into our state, and ultimately lowers wages for the middle class. With that, I believe that all Iowa businesses, both big and small, should have to play by the same rules. Special tax breaks and corporate welfare gives billion dollar corporations an unfair advantage against the small businesses in our district. I pledge to stand firmly against special tax breaks that only apply to well connected corporate donors, and will fight hard to allow average Iowans to keep more of their hard earned paychecks.
As a Marine Corps Veteran, I have many close friends with a diverse amount of medical issues -- both physical and mental. I have seen firsthand these friends be prescribed medical cannabis in other states for mental health injuries incurred on the battlefield, only to have their physician-approved medicine be taken away when they decided to move to Iowa. These experiences have convinced me that medical marijuana needs to be legalized in the state of Iowa, and I would actively support any legislation that would make this a reality.