Phil Thompson is a candidate for Iowa’s 47th House seat

Phil Thompson

Jefferson resident Phil Thompson on March 16 announced his candidacy for the Iowa House of Representatives District 47, the seat now held by Republican Chip Baltimore. Thompson is running in the Republican primary June 5.

Thompson is a 2009 graduate of Jefferson-Scranton high school. He served eight years in the U.S. Army as an Airborne Ranger, including a tour in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He finished his active duty time at West Point studying systems engineering for two years. He then returned to Iowa and served in the Iowa National Guard.

Although this is his first time on the ballot, he is not new to promoting conservative values. In 2014 he campaigned for Dr Sam Clovis during his bid for the position of state treasurer. During the 2016 election cycle he managed the ground organization for the NRA as Iowa campaign field representative for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.

During the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions he has worked as an assistant to Rep. Dawn Pettengill (R) of Iowa’s House District 75. “Phil is smart and a hard worker. As my assistant, he has been by my side for every conversation for two years and can hit the ground running for Greene and Boone counties,” she said.

In a GreeneCountyNewsOnline interview last week, Thompson said he’s running so he can promote conservative values, grow businesses, make a healthy environment for farmers and local businesses, and fund education like the state has been.

He said the “fight” in Iowa isn’t party-based, but it’s rural vs. metro. The divide is seen in the funding system for education, with state aid having a much greater impact on rural schools than on metro schools that have a larger tax base and much more sales tax revenue to work with.

“A big thing is making sure the tax money we send to Des Moines ends up coming back here. The algorithm isn’t working in our favor,” he said. “We send tons of dollars to Des Moines and we don’t see it coming back.”

He said he’s work toward building a conservative rural caucus that goes to bat for rural communities “and will double-down on fixing a system that really is broken, that’s not sending infrastructure back to rural communities,” he said.

“It’s necessary to elect rural Republicans that understand their districts and are loyal and respected, and are willing to go there (Des Moines) and not get rolled over by the idea that we have to increase sales tax in the metro so people in our districts will go to Jordan Creek and buy Waukee a new school,” Thompson said.

His values include a belief in the rights of individual, liberty, and empowering individuals. Empowering individuals includes the right to defend themselves with firearms if needed. About recent legislative action to sharply curtail abortion, he said he believes in “the individual right and personhood of an unborn child.”

Baltimore’s intention not to run for re-election was not widely known, even to fellow Republicans, until fewer than 12 hours remained before the nomination filing deadline. Thompson said he was at Greene Bean Coffee when he learned Baltimore wasn’t running. He had two meetings that morning, and he had help from two other people. Between the three of them it was easy to collect the 50 signatures needed for nomination.

He had thought of running but would not have run against Baltimore. “I have a lot of respect for Chip on policy. I want to pick up where he’s leaving off, with very similar values,” he said.

He wouldn’t necessarily promote all the same policies as Baltimore, “but the ability to advocate for rural Iowa. I watched him even behind closed doors be a staunch advocate for our community and really truly speak on behalf of us. I really did admire that. It wasn’t based on party, but his duty and loyalty to our people.”

Thompson is the youngest of the six children of Charlie and the late Karyl Thompson. “People know who I am and they know my family. They know our values. They know that both my granddads grew up here and were involved in farming, and we all at some point went to the military…. There’s a very long history of service and duty and loyalty to this community.”

“I want to be an advocate for the people I know and care about and the community that raised me,” he said, and he noted that Boone shares the same values as Greene County. “It’s a love of my community. That’s something people relate to.”

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