Iveson announces candidacy

The Orr Street Studios art gallery lit up a new piece of art last night: a sprawling red, white and blue campaign banner announcing Cande Iveson's intent to run for House of Representatives in the 23rd District.

"I had a mom who taught me what it is to do service," Iveson said to a crowd of family, friends and supporters. "I want to give back to the district that's given me so much."

Iveson specializes in child education advocacy and owns the nonprofit company Policy Works.

She's also worked with at the nonprofit group Citizens for Missouri's Children in its Jefferson City office and believes her work there has given her valuable experience in dealing with education and health-care issues.

"The people in the 23rd District deserve a strong voice in Jeff City," Iveson said. "I have a good handle on policy and how things work in Jefferson City — or not," she said.

Iveson said 25 percent of children entering kindergarten aren't prepared to maximize their experience in school, which means they can't take full advantage of the benefits of higher education.

"You can't make full use of K-12 dollars," she said.

She also said she wants to approach children's education without party affiliations.

"In Jefferson City I worked with urban, rural, Republican, Democrat and low- and high-income people, finding common ground on issues," Iveson said.

Mark Farnen, a friend of Iveson who's helping promote the campaign, said Iveson has a unique source of firsthand knowledge of the state's education system, because she's got two kids who are almost college-aged.

"Not only has she worked in the field of early education for years, but she has two teenage kids in her household who probably give her more insight into the practical side of education than anyone else I can think of," Farnen said.

One of those teenagers, Rock Bridge High School junior Chris Iveson, confirmed his mother's interest in his experiences at school.

"I can give her a little view on what's going on," Chris said. "We talk a lot at dinner about our day at school."

Cande Iveson said she also wants to fix problems with the state's health-care system, specifically MO HealthNet.

"It's messy nationwide, but ours is a particularly messy area," Iveson said. "A catchy name doesn't get people good healthcare."

Among those in the crowd was Democracy for Missouri President Bill Monroe, a Fulton resident who came to show his support for the Iveson campaign.

"I just came out to drop some support in her box," Monroe said.

Rep. Judy Baker, D-Columbia, also attended Iveson's event but said she sticks to a strict policy to "never to endorse one candidate."

She also attended an event for Russ Unger, an instructor for Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 and the only other Democrat who has announced that he's running in the primary.

"It's great to see two great candidates get out there and make their case to the electorate and let them decide who the best candidate is," Baker said.

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