The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

UI graduate student plans to run for Iowa House seat

Anna Banowsky believes Democrats in Washington and Johnson Counties are not being heard by the Iowa Legislature.
Photo contributed from Anna Banowsky

Anna Banowsky, a 26-year-old University of Iowa graduate student, announced her bid for the Iowa House on Saturday.

Banowsky said she plans to run because residents of Iowa House District 92, which encompasses southern Johnson County and all of Washington County, aren’t being heard by the Iowa Legislature. The election bid challenges current Republican incumbent Heather Hora, of Washington, Iowa, who announced her reelection bid on Feb. 6.

“We’re seeing issues such as public schools not being adequately funded, a lack of access to mental health care, restriction of reproductive health care, and a decrease in protections for the environment,” Banowsky said in a Saturday news release. “I want to make sure that my constituents have a voice in Des Moines.”

Banowsky announced her intention to run for the seat at the Washington County Democrats meeting on Feb. 17. She has yet to file a petition of candidacy with the Iowa Secretary of State office but plans to before the March 15 deadline. Banowsky told The Daily Iowan she has more than the 50 signatures required by Iowa law for the petition.

Banowsky is currently pursuing a master’s in anthropology at the UI. She said her bid focuses on issues, such as school funding, mental health care access, environmental protections, and access to reproductive care.

Banowsky cited discussions to close Hills Elementary School in District 92 due to budget cuts, which she says is an example of the state’s lack of support for public education.

“I just want to make sure that we’re making sure our youth, our future generations, have those opportunities and that they have those opportunities equally and equitably across the state,” Banowsky said. “Many of the legislative session’s bills don’t represent me, and don’t really seem to represent the people I know.”

Talks to close Hills Elementary School stem from Iowa City Community School District’s need to cut $3.75 million from the 2025 fiscal year budget. Closing Hills would only account for $1.6 million of the needed budget cut.

Hora was endorsed by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds when she originally ran for District 92. Reynolds supports taxpayer-funded vouchers for private school tuition and argues this helps give parents more of a choice where they put their kids in school and allows for decreased tax rates.

Hora defeated Democrat Eileen Beran of Kalona, Iowa, by 109 votes or 13 percent of the vote in her 2022 bid.

The general election is more than 200 days away on Nov. 5, 2024.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jack Moore, News Editor
Jack Moore is a second-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication. He is from Cedar Rapids Iowa. Along with working at The Daily Iowan, Jack works for the University of Iowa's UI-REACH program as a Resident Assistant. UI-REACH is a program for students with learning, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities intended to provide support to these students throughout their college experience. Additionally, Jack is involved in Iowa City's live music scene as he plays bass for local Iowa City band "Two Canes."