Local attorney Dave Jennett was one of many shocked by the passing of Mary Lou Freeman this season. Jennett has known Freeman for many years and has decided that he wants to follow in her footsteps of public representation.
"I sincerely want to continue her legacy," Jennett said in a Pilot-Tribune interview. "She was able to strike a balance between the parties and she was able to get work done."
Jennett is a former Sac County Attorney, having been appointed in 1984 and running for office twice in 1986 and 1990 for four year terms. In 2003, Jennett accepted the appointment of interim Sac County Attorney. He is also currently City Attorney of Nemaha and Lakeside.
"Back in 1994, when the districts were changed and Mary Lou was switching [from state senate to the house], I considered running.
"After talking with her, we both agreed it was best that she run at the time because I still had kids in high school and just starting my law practice. Mary Lou and I agreed on the same issues and I have always supported her," Jennett explained about his history.
Jennett was born in Schaller and has three children. His wife, Denise works as the elementary guidance counselor for the Storm Lake Public Schools.
Jennett was asked to consider putting his name in after being contacted by members of Sac County Republican Committee.
"I have received support from members who have contacted me and I'm looking forward to contacting the other members," Jennett said.
He feels that his legal background and knowledge of the issues can assist him on learning the job. Jennett received a law degree from Drake University in 1979 and passed the Iowa State Bar that same year. He sees much to do in Iowa politics.
"We've lost the knowledge of how to work in Des Moines to help the district and state," Jennett admitted.
One of his major concerns is water quality and making sure that Iowa works to protect the resource.
"Next to clean air, I think clean water is something that is most important to the district and the state," Jennett said.
Jennett is considering other issues and is waiting for advice from the committees before speaking on some current issues.
No other candidate has announced for the vacant Iowa House seat yet. The joint Buena Vista and Sac County Republican and Democrat parties can nominate a candidate after the November 7 election. Both Buena Vista parties said that they plan to have conventions after the election and to field a candidate for the special election, and others could run as write-ins.
Jennett does not necessarily have an easy path to the seat.
"This is a two step process. I have to receive the nomination from both counties and then I have to win the special election before I am going to Des Moines," Jennett said.
If Jennett is elected, he has made arrangements with his associate Dan Connell about his legal practices.
"There will be some sacrifice, but there will be some career satisfaction," Jennett added. "There is a time to consider doing something to help the community or to do something to make money."