May 21, 2024

Dunwell announces run for statehouse

Republican challenger to face Breckenridge in 2020 election

Jon Dunwell, a businessman and leadership coach from Newton, announced Tuesday he will seek election to the Iowa House in District 29 which includes most of Jasper County, including the communities of Newton, Baxter, Mingo, Kellogg, Oakland Acres, Prairie City and Colfax.

“I have spent my career helping others achieve their goals and reach their potential,” Dunwell said. “Now, it’s time that I step up and do the same for the people of Newton and Jasper County.”

Dunwell, a Republican, will challenge HD29 incumbent Rep. Wes Breckenridge, D-Newton, who was first elected in 2016.

Dunwell was raised in Shakopee, Minn., where he felt a strong call for service. After graduating from Lutheran High School and Crown College, he married Christie Lauterbach, from Newton, in 1990 and moved to Orlando, Fla., where Dunwell pastored Westwood Church for 21 years.

During his time at Westwood, he devoted significant time to volunteer efforts in the community including serving as the senior chaplain for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, chairman of the Board of Seniors First and as a metro board member of the Central Florida YMCA.

In 2011, Dunwell and his family moved back to Christie’s hometown Newton. Over the past eight years, Dunwell has worked as a vice president in the financial services business, being part of teams that have raised more than $4 billion in investment capital for real estate and private equity investments. His sojourn into the business community was a purposeful career move to expand his experience beyond the world of nonprofit, better preparing him for his future as an executive coach for businesses, non-profits, and churches.  “Healthy leaders, teams, lives ... and communities” is the tagline that best describes Dunwell’s work and passion

“I want to ensure that Iowans of all backgrounds have the tools they need to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. That starts with strong and vibrant communities like we have right here in Newton,” Dunwell said.

Dunwell said his priorities will focus on growing the state’s economy to create new jobs, investing in education, and making health care more affordable and accessible.

“In order for our employers to be successful, they need a workforce built for the 21st century. I will make it a priority to invest in Iowa workers to ensure they have the high-demand skills that businesses are looking for. I will work to make sure that our kids get a world-class education that sets them up for success after graduation. I will look for innovative ways to reform health care to ensure that families can access the services they need at an affordable price.”

Dunwell enjoys living and working in the Newton community where he and his family have long established relationships. Dunwell and his wife have two boys, Addison, 18 and Bryce, 15.