Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
Jeff Shipley has come out victorious in a primary battle to represent the Republican Party in Iowa House District 87.
Shipley defeated Joe Mitchell in a battle between two sitting members of the Iowa House of Representatives that were forced to compete over the same seat after the Iowa Legislature approved a new district map in 2021.
Shipley garnered 1,605 (55 percent) votes to Mitchell’s 1,319 (45 percent). Mitchell, who lives in Mt. Pleasant, did best on his home turf in Henry County, where he won 74 percent of the vote, but Shipley, who lives in Birmingham at the northern edge of Van Buren County, carried the other two counties that are part of the district, winning Jefferson County with 70 percent of the vote and Van Buren County with 67 percent.
Shipley thanked the voters of House District 87 for choosing him in Tuesday’s primary race, and congratulated Mitchell on running a strong campaign.
“Rep. Mitchell has rightfully earned his place in Iowa history for being the youngest representative ever elected to the Iowa House, and for all the important work protecting the rights and liberties of Iowans during these historic times,” Shipley said.
Shipley said that he and Mitchell had conversations about what to do once they learned that they would be in the same district, whether they should move or accept other roles. Shipley said he considered leaving the Iowa House to join the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.
“Serving in the Iowa House is a sacrifice in a lot of ways, which you don’t realize when you’re running for office,” Shipley said. “You have to be in Des Moines four nights a week. This is a part-time job, but it requires much more than part-time responsibility.”
Ultimately, both men felt passionately about remaining where they were, and representing the people of Southeast Iowa in the Iowa House.
Shipley said the topic he focused on most in the closing weeks of the campaign was civil rights law and “the construction of gender identity as a protected class.”
“It’s very confusing how this law is applied and what it means,” he said. “President Biden is set to update the administration’s interpretation of Title IX. Does the law require school districts to conceal information from parents? Does it mean a minor can gender transition without parental oversight? A lot of people are interested in that conversation.”
Shipley will face Democrat Mike Heaton in the general election on Nov. 8.
Joe Mitchell could not be reached for comment. He has not made any public comments on his Facebook page since election night.
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