Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Iowa House District 92 Candidate Heather Hora is a Republican’s Republican. A farmer and mother of three, Hora said she was a firmly on the political right.
“I would say I’m very conservative, I would consider myself — if you want to call it something — a Reagan Republican,” she said. “I grew up in the Reagan area, I was 10 when he was elected president, and so he was my president all through my young years … when I was 18, I became President of Republican Women of Washington County, so I’ve stayed on that.
“I believe in the platform. There’s some that may want to venture off of the platform, but I believe that the strength of the Republican Party is in the grassroots, and the grassroots are who votes on our platform. So I believe in the Republican platform as set forth by the delegates.”
While she said she was partial to party compromises, Hora didn’t necessarily expect many chances to do so if elected.
“If there’s things that can be met in the middle, I always think that’s a good option, but the agenda of the Democrats has been so far left … there’s no sense in meeting in the middle if the middle is something that we would disagree with,” she said. “I believe in working across the aisle 100%, but today’s Democrat tends not to be as open to compromise either.”
Born in Riverside, Hora grew up in Minnesota, spent some time as a real estate broker, and moved back to Iowa in 1990 when she married her husband Kurt and co-founded their company, H.K. Farms, north of Washington.
“I took to it naturally,” she said. “It was a pretty big change, I’d lived in town my whole life … We just decided we would do it together and we bought some bred gilts, moved out here to this house and started raising a family.”
Hora said her family was a major factor in her decision to run for office.
“I have children, and it’s their future that is on the line,” she said. “There is so much happening in today’s world that we need to pump the breaks on, and I think the only place that’s going to happen is in the legislature.”
Specifically, Hora said she took issue with school curricula.
“The woke curricula that they’re putting into schools — the critical race theory, if you call it that — teaching children that they are inherently racist is something that should not ever be in the school,” she said. “We need to get back to teaching our children the basics, the reading, the writing, the arithmetic, and leave the parents to teach the children their morality.”
Her family is also heavily involved in her campaign, and helped her make the decision to run.
“We discussed it as a family and we believe in doing everything as a family,” she said. “Kurt, my husband, and my son, put up all the signs, and the girls usually go door knocking with me … I wouldn’t do it without them, I don’t know how you could do it without your family. If they weren’t supportive of my campaign, then we probably wouldn’t be doing it, but they see the importance and the value of having representation at the state level.”
Since becoming a farmer, Hora has been an active voice in the ag industry. She is a former board member of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, and has served for 16 years on the Washington County Pork Board.
While the groups are not technically lobbies, they are heavily involved in legislative activity and connected to the National Pork Producers Association, which has its own political action committee, called PorkPAC.
Hora said her involvement with such politically active groups made up for her lack of time spent in public office.
“I’ve been around politics … I do know many legislators and I’m friends with Gov. (Kim) Reynolds,” she said. “I don’t think I have a lack of experience. I’ve got a lack of experience being elected to public office, but I was elected to the pork board, and I’ve been elected to the National Pork Board nominating committee. I’ve been elected to many things and a part of a process to many things, so I don’t know that it’s really that different.”
The candidate said she viewed her lack of government experience as an upside.
“I think it’s a benefit to not have held public office myself, because you go in there with fresh ideas, fresh ways of doing things, and you’re not in a box,” she said. “I’m just going to go in, I’m going to represent my people, and I don’t owe anybody anything except the people in my district.”
Hora also pitched farm policy as a major priority.
“So much happens with regulations and things like that, that are not practical on the farm and really don’t have any bearing on say, water quality or anything like that,” she said. “But if you’re not on the farm you don’t realize that, so that’s another thing, is to represent agriculture in the state house.”
In her view, Hora said her farm experience constituted a connection with the rest of the community she would represent if elected.
“A large portion of our district is employed in agriculture in some form,” Hora said. “Agriculture is far greater than just the farmer plowing the field. It’s the people delivering the seed, it’s the people at ACE selling you parts for your waterers, it’s the people at the grocery store … I think agriculture is such a large part of our area, I’m not even sure who that would be that isn’t touched by agriculture in some way.”
Hora lost to State Sen. Kevin Kinney in a race for the office in 2018 by a little over 9%. With that defeat behind her, she said she was much more confident in her chances for this year’s general election.
“When I ran for the senate, we had Tiffin and North Liberty, and a high population of Democrats, we knew it was going to be an uphill battle,” she said. “This is a fresh district and we just don’t have those battles … I believe 100% that it’s going to be a Republican, it’s just going to be a matter of which Republican.”
Asked what made her the best pick for voters, Hora said constituents would get what they signed up for: a consistent conservative.
“I am a Christian, a mother, a farmer,” she said. “I have common sense when it comes to all things, and I believe in our platform as a party and I will stand by that.”