Sen. Kevin Kinney re-elected to seat in District 39

In Tuesday’s election, Sen. Kevin Kinney was re-elected to serve a second term as state senator for District 39, representing the people of Johnson, Washington, and Keokuk Counties.


Roman Slabach

Kevin Kinney stands in a field on Sept. 14, 2018 in Iowa City outside of Midtown Family Restaurant.

Kelsey Harrell & Mastura Ibnat, [email protected]

Sen. Kevin Kinney’s re-election keeps the Iowa Senate District 39 seat blue.

The Democrat was re-elected on Tuesday over Republican candidate Heather Hora by a margin of  15,738 to 13,098. Hora is a lifelong farmer who campaigned for quality K-12 funding.

Kinney was elected to serve a four-year term as senator in 2014. He represents the people in Washington County and portions of Johnson and Keokuk Counties.

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“I feel there is finally some balance of accountability that can be enforced,” Kinney said about the possibility of Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives.

Kinney has farmed for 30 years and recently retired as a lieutenant in the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office after serving for 28 years. In his spare time, he served on the Clear Creek/Amana School Board for three years. He is 55 years old and originally from Oxford, Iowa.

In the Senate, Kinney has served as a ranking member on the Agricultural Committee. He also serves on Ethics, Judiciary, and Natural Resources Committees, and on the Agricultural and Natural Resources Budget Committee.

Through his involvement with the Judiciary Committee, Kinney assisted in creating funding and legislation for the training of law-enforcement officers, extending the statute of limitations on sexual abuse, and creating the Office of Human Trafficking in the Public Safety Department.

“A lot of it is we still have to work across party lines to come up with good policies in Iowa. I campaigned on creating rural jobs here in Iowa such as through the industrial hemp legislation that was passed in the Senate but not in the House,” he said.

In the 2014 election, Kinney won a first term by a margin of 12,371 to 11,306 against Republican Mike Moore.

Kinney supports increased funding for public education, community colleges, and state universities and believes education leads to a skilled workforce.

He believes Iowa’s rural economy would be stimulated by passing an industrial-hemp legislation to allow farmers to grow the crop.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to work. One thing I would like to do is extend the statute of limitations for sexual abuse. I think it should mirror the criminal side of the statute of limitations,” Kinney said.

Hora sought to disentangle Iowa’s tax code in order to lower the cost of living for families and small businesses. She said she believes the complicated tax codes that are currently in place force many Iowans to go out of state in search of lower living costs.

The Washington native wanted to lower health costs to increase affordability for Iowans. She also supports restoration of local control of school as she believes that teachers and parents are best suited to make decisions for students.

“It was a really positive experience. I told a lot of people that I feel like I’ve won either way, because I have three children who were part of the process, and they’ve learned more about government by experience than they would ever learn in a classroom. It’s worth it,” she said.