The seat is an open seat due to the retirement of State Senator Dick Dearden (D-Des Moines). Nate Boulton, the Democratic nominee, beat Dearden’s daughter, Pam Dearden Conner, in a close primary election. Boulton, due to the primary, has an advantage in terms of name recognition. Registered Democrats also outnumber registered Republicans almost 2 to 1 in the district.
Pryor, a Des Moines native, spent a number of years living in Omaha where he graduated from Grace University. He returned to Iowa in early 2012 to care for a family member.
Pryor spent 10 years as a foster parent for 27 children–six, of which he eventually became legal guardian. The youngest of his children, Vincent Page, an African American, was murdered in a 2009 shooting in Omaha. He says this experience gives him a closer perspective to the fears and frustrations in the African American community. He seeks to partner with that community to ensure that the Iowa Senate does more to protect and support African Americans in Iowa.
“Mike has an incredible story. His experience makes him uniquely qualified to effectively represent District 16 and bring core Republican values of smaller government, and protection of our rights, to the Iowa Senate,” Polk County Republican Chair Will Rogers said in a released statement.
Pryor says he is focused on the need to bring businesses back to Des Moines’ East Side, and growing Iowa technology so that it can both feed and fuel the world. He also wants to see our education policy brought back to the local communities and eliminate onerous and failing programs like Common Core and No Child Left Behind.
Mike shared in his introductory campaign nomination speech, “I’m not the perfect candidate. I’ve been in jail for disturbing the peace. I’ve gone through personal bankruptcy. I’m gay. But I also believe we can do so much more than what we are doing today.”
He continued, “I believe that Republicans have the right ideas to move Iowa and our nation forward. I know that we can make better progress by thinking outside the box and being flexible with our techniques without changing our priorities or core message.”