State Senator Jerry Behn (R-Boone) is running for reelection in Iowa Senate District 24 that includes Boone County, Greene County, Hamilton County, part of Webster County and part of Story County. Behn is running unopposed in the Republican primary on June 7. Keith Puntenny is the Democrat challenger for Behn in the general election.
Behn was married 41 years to his wife Denise. They have seven children and four grandchildren. They are members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Boone.
Behn started farming with his father after graduating high school in 1971. They use ridge-tillage, a form of conservation tillage that leaves all of last year’s crop residue on the soil surface. The technique uses less chemicals and saves soil, some of Behn’s fields have not been plowed in over 40 years. Behn raised hogs until about 1980. He currently plants corn and soybeans.
Behn is a member of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, Boone County Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association, and Iowa Soybean Association.
Behn served as a Boone County Supervisor from 1995 to 1997. He was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 1996. He is running for his fifth term. He has served as Republican Assistant Leader and Minority Leader in the Iowa Senate. He serves on the Education, Ethics, Natural Resources and Environment and Ways and Means Committees.
He has been given “Guardian of Small Business” award by the National Federation of Independent Business, “Friend of Family Award” by the Christian Coalition of Iowa, “Certificate of Recognition” as the Chair of Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriation Subcommittee for leadership in passing Iowa Watersheds Protection Fund Bill.
Behn has completed a survey sent by Caffeinated Thoughts to all legislative candidates.
Why do you want to serve as a state legislator?
I want to leave an Iowa, to my children and grandchildren, that is as good as, or better than, the aIowa left to me, by my parents.
Describe your worldview and what role that would play as a state legislator:
Simply a Christian world view. The founders of this great nation understood human nature. They also put safeguards in the Constitution to protect us. I want to uphold those safeguards.
Your top three issues of concern are?
Education, business and tax climate, protecting our founding principles.
What is your position on education, in particular Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, Iowa Core and high stakes testing?
ESAs (educational savings accounts) would give parents a much greater role in their children education, as well as incorporate competition into the system. Everyone wins when schools compete for the children they teach. That would fix virtually all our current problems. Currently, we try to micromanage most aspects of the educational system at the state or federal level. ESAs have proven successful in other states, even on a limited basis. It would also take care of the testing part of the question. I did not vote for the Iowa Core, and it would appear other states are not happy with Common Core either.
How do you define local control in education?
Local school boards with more authority.
When does someone become a person and at what point should they be granted all constitutional protections of a person under the law?
Do you support recently passed legislation in the Iowa House allowing kids under 14 to use handguns with parental supervision:
Do you support Constitutional carry and the Second Amendment:
Do you support raising any taxes. And, have you supported raising any taxes in the past? If so, which ones?
Only if another tax was lowered. Not that I can remember. I did vote to lower income taxes 10% across-the-board when I first was elected.
What will you do as a state legislator to lessen the tax burden on farmers and small businesses?
Coupling should be made permanent.
Do you support traditional marriage and is there anything you hope to do as a state legislator regarding marriage and how?
Yes. Ensure government does not enforce its standards on an individual’s personal religious views.
What is your position on Christians refusing service at same-sex weddings?
That is their right.
What will you do as legislator, if anything, to strengthen religious liberty?
Ensure government does not enforce its standards on an individual’s personal religious views.
Do you support allowing Syrian refugees into Iowa?
Not until they are properly vetted. At this point, that does not appear possible.
Would you support a bill supporting Personhood? Do you also support bills that bring incremental change on the life issue?
Yes and yes.
Should taxpayer money pay for Planned Parenthood?
In what circumstances would you go against the leadership of your own caucus if elected?
Only if I was asked to violate my principles. Good leadership would not ask me to do that.