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Time to pass the baton…

Published: Monday, March 10, 2014 11:35 a.m. CDT

March 14th is the last day for which nomination papers and affidavits of candidacy are to be turned into the Secretary of State for seeking state office. Following serious consideration and family conversation, I will not seek re-election to the Iowa Senate. 

I have been extremely fortunate to have the opportunity of serving as the voice of the people in the House of Representatives for 12 years and in the Iowa Senate for 20 years. That’s a long, long time and very few persons have served that length or longer.  It has been an honor and joy beyond my ability to express. 

I shall miss the challenge and opportunity for this level of public service immensely.

The need to contemplate my future hit me when I was renewing my driver’s license. Here I am, 74 years old, and should I be elected to an additional term, I would be 75 when I took my oath of office next January and 79 when the four-year Senate term expired. 

Since every day is God’s gift, and we have no lease on life, I realized that I had best get busy and finish some responsibilities I had set aside over the years of public service. God willing, I hope for time to finish the three books I have started; continue to do work in Asia; spend precious time with family and grandchildren; and, devote time to volunteerism for getting the public’s enthusiasm ramped up for saving our soil, improving out waters and general environmental enhancement. 

In fact, this summer and fall, I plan on scouring Jasper and Polk counties in search of that elusive Emerald Ash Borer I write about so often.

I continue to be your Senator in District 15 until my elected replacement takes their oath of office in January of 2015. I have worked very hard for my constituents, and that’s undoubtedly why I was re-elected five times to the Iowa House and five times to the Iowa Senate. 

I take the job very seriously, and always try to use pragmatism and common-sense in my voting decisions on public policy. Having done that, I depart with absolute satisfaction for having done my best for the well-being of others.

Iowans can be extremely proud of their General Assembly. Both parties are comprised of great people. At your selection, they come to Des Moines to the “people’s house” to work hard within their ideological standard and professional understanding. 

Almost without exception, Iowans are well served. During my tenure, I can count the “bad apples” on two fingers.

Although it has taken a great deal of time from family, all have stood by me and been proud of my dedication and accomplishments. I thank them for their sacrifice, and to you, my constituents, I deeply appreciate the opportunity you allowed me to experience.

• • •

During the session, call me at (515) 281-3371; write me at the Senate, Capitol Bldg., Des Moines, 50319; or e-mail dennis.black@legis.iowa.gov.  I value your thoughts and opinions.

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