State Representative Steven Holt (R-Denison) is running for re-election in Iowa House District 18 that includes Crawford County, Shelby County and the eastern half of Harrison County. He has an uncontested primary, and as of the time of this writing he doesn’t have a challenger in the general election.
Holt is currently serving his first term, and serves on the Labor, Commerce, Veterans, and Public Safety (he is vice chair) Committees. He also serves on the Justice Systems Appropriations Subcommittee.
Holt served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years, completing numerous deployments overseas, and receiving countless decorations. After his military service he entered law enforcement and worked as a Deputy Sheriff and Police Chief. In 2002 Holt and his wife, Crystal, started their own small business, Movie Magic USA, a DVD internet store. They recently opened another small business, Summer Magic Tropical Snow in Denison.
The couple also created created and sponsored the Denison High School Superior Academic Awards which recognizes academic performance. They both heavily involved with swim team programs. Holt also serves as a Board Member with the High School Music Boosters as well.
Crystal has tought at Denison High School for 21 years, and together the couple have five children. They attend Grace Evangelical Free Church in Denison.
Holt completed Caffeinated Thoughts’ survey.
Why do you want to serve as a state legislator?
I believe that America’s greatness, and the greatness of Iowa, come from three basic ideals – Faith in God, Self-Reliance, & Limited Government. These three pillars of our greatness are under assault by the far left as never before. They seek to fundamentally transform these foundational values: Faith in God becomes Faith In Government, Self-Reliance becomes Reliance On Government, and Limited Government becomes LIMITLESS Government. I am in office to help restore our founding principles, for this will provide the solution to most of the problems facing our state and nation.
Describe your worldview and what role that would play as a state legislator:
I share the worldview of our Founding Fathers. I believe in natural law as created and ordained by God, and that our rights come from God, not government. That there are those who would have us believe that our rights emanate from government should be of profound concern to freedom-loving Americans, for what government gives can also be taken away.
Your top three issues of concern are?
A) Restoration of our Founding Values – Under this restoration would include protection of religious liberty, reform of the welfare state, & protection of 2nd Amendment rights; B) Protection of the Unborn; C) Improved Care for Veterans.
What is your position on education, in particular Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, Iowa Core and high stakes testing?
I believe in local control. We put a man on the moon without a federal education department. I favor returning control to local school boards. Allow local school boards to choose their own assessments based upon what works best for their district. I oppose national education standards. I oppose Next Generation Science Standards and federal Common Core. I believe we need to get back to basics in education and that begins with discipline and respect in the classroom, and local control by school boards and parents.
How do you define local control in education?
Local Control in education means local control over curriculum, evaluations and assessments, personnel and budgets. It also means control of content in Christmas and other holiday programs. I believe local control also means greater choice for parents – vouchers, Education Savings Accounts and homeschooling should be some of the choices for parents. Competition improves performance. Public schools need competition. Let the money follow the child, giving greater choice to parents in the education of their children.
When does someone become a person and at what point should they be granted all constitutional protections of a person under the law?
Life begins at conception. A child should have constitutional protection from conception. To do otherwise is to defy science and morality.
Do you support recently passed legislation in the Iowa House allowing kids under 14 to use handguns with parental supervision:
Yes, I support parental rights in deciding when a child should handle a firearm, and I voted for this legislation. I reject government interference in parental authority.
Do you support Constitutional carry and the Second Amendment:
I support Constitutional Carry. I support the 2nd Amendment as one of our most sacred rights and believe that the preservation of our liberty depends on the right to keep and bear arms.
Do you support raising any taxes. And, have you supported raising any taxes in the past? If so, which ones?
I do not support raising taxes. I voted against the gas tax. Iowa spends over 7 billion taxpayer dollars a year, and that is only what the legislature controls. We need to reform government and the welfare state to the vision of our founders – self-reliance through hard work will mean less taxes, smaller government and a strong economy.
What will you do as a state legislator to lessen the tax burden on farmers and small businesses?
In order to truly reform government in Iowa, conservatives need to control both houses of the legislature and the governor’s office. Once that takes place, my priorities would be to reform the tax code by reducing taxes on businesses and entrepreneurs. We should look long term at ending the income tax and other innovative ways to spur economic development through a more fair and simple tax code that encourages growth and investment. We also need collective bargaining reform. Until we can achieve success in these areas, I will continue to support more limited measures, such as coupling with federal tax code, reducing the regulatory burden on farmers and business owners and resisting tax increases of any kind.
Do you support traditional marriage and is there anything you hope to do as a state legislator regarding marriage and how?
I support traditional marriage, and my work in this area is related to the protection of religious liberty in Iowa through legislation that would protect those who choose not to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies. I will support efforts to recognize that the Supreme Court exceeded its authority in recognizing a right of same-sex marriage that does not exist in the U.S. Constitution and violates natural law.
What is your position on Christians refusing service at same-sex weddings?
I support the right of conscience for those who choose not to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies. I will continue to work for legislative action that will protect the 1st Amendment free exercise of religion of Iowans.
What will you do as legislator, if anything, to strengthen religious liberty?
See answers to the last two questions.
Do you support allowing Syrian refugees into Iowa?
I have been very vocal in opposing Syrian refugee entry into America or Iowa. Americans must recognize the difference between Islam as a religion, and Islam as a political system that seeks to implement Sharia law as the supreme law of any nation in which it is introduced. Political Islam and Sharia Law have nothing in common with U.S. Constitutional tradition, and those who are followers of Political Islam cannot assimilate into our culture, for their ultimate objective through Sharia Law is the overthrow of the U.S. Constitution. We must reform our immigration system to recognize the necessity that immigrants allowed into America must be able to assimilate into our nation and support our constitutional traditions.
What type of pro-life bills would you support?
I support Personhood and believe that the only way we will ever ultimately succeed in protecting life is to recognize that life begins at conception. We must stop using the language of our opposition that makes it easier to dehumanize unborn children. I support efforts to change the word “fetus” in Iowa code to “unborn person” or “unborn child.” As we work toward the ultimate end of abortion and recognition of life at conception, I will also support incremental change that could save human life and reduce abortion in Iowa.
Should taxpayer money pay for Planned Parenthood?
I will do all I can to end taxpayer money for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in Iowa, transferring the money to the myriad of other women’s health providers that do not perform abortions.
In what circumstances would you go against the leadership of your own caucus if elected?
I support House leadership as I can, but not in violation of my principles. I opposed the gas tax. I spoke against it, voted against it and supported alternatives that were revenue neutral. I will stand for the principles I was elected to fight for, even if it means voting contrary to the desires of leadership. I do not work for leadership; I work for 30,000 voters in District 18.