The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

Geer, signing off
Geer, signing off
by Caleb Geer, Ad Manager/Web Editor • April 27, 2024

I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do with my life when I showed up on campus in the middle of the pandemic almost four years ago. I knew...

Looking back at my time at Simpson
Looking back at my time at Simpson
by Kyle Werner, Managing Editor & Social Media Manager • April 27, 2024

It all started with soup. No, really, let me explain. I was so passionate about the soup in SubConnection as a first year that it caught the...

So long, farewell, I’ve got no more stories to tell
So long, farewell, I’ve got no more stories to tell
by Jenna Prather, Editor-in-chief • April 27, 2024

Unlike my fellow student media seniors who’ve written this before me, I came into Simpson knowing exactly what I wanted to do. I did independent...

Spencer Waugh running for office

Provided by Spencer Waugh
Spencer Waugh is running for Iowa House District 21 as a Democrat

After 13 years at Simpson and 25 years in the education field, Spencer Waugh hopes to add another experience: the representative of Iowa House District 21. 

The former director and founder of the seven-time national title-winning speech and debate team at Simpson and the current director of exploratory studies, Waugh hadn’t thought about running for office. Instead, he actually said he’d never run for office. 

But, current actions by the state legislature, such as the passing of the AEA, prompted him to take action.

“I could no longer stand by and watch the legislature ignore the needs of our community schools,” Waugh said in a news release on Monday, March 11. “I believe in a representative democracy, and I promise to listen to the voters in Marion and Warren counties.” 

The Iowa Democratic Party and local officials have reached out to Waugh asking him to put his hat in Iowa’s political ring before, and he finally agreed.

“I never thought the state legislature would take some of the actions that they did,” Waugh said in an interview with The Simpsonian. “And then not having a candidate in the House District 21 race, it made it a pretty easy ‘yes.’” 

His family offering their support was a major part of his decision to run for office.

His wife, Sinnika Waugh, and his two daughters, Anja and Sophie Waugh, who both attend Simpson, were part of the decision.

“The campaign is really exciting,” Anja Waugh said. “I’ve had the opportunity to do research, content creation, and social media. We’ve made a lot of progress, and I’m really looking forward to a summer of events and the election this fall.”

One of Waugh’s primary issues he is running on is education.

“I think Iowa should strive to have the best public school system in the country. It once did. And it should, again,” he said. “There’s no excuse for us not to work with educators and educational leaders in the state to figure out what our teachers need to deliver the best services to our students.”

He is also running on bettering mental health.

“Especially in rural areas, our citizens don’t have access to good mental health care. And that is going to be something I would prioritize if I were elected,” he said. 

Waugh continued to talk about his platform, pointing to individual liberties. 

“The party that’s in power currently (Republicans) is all about taking away rights and liberties. And it’s kind of ironic because that’s traditionally the party that champions individual rights and individual liberties.”

Waugh held a campaign kickoff event at West Hill Brewing Co. on March 26 to share and announce his campaign. He officially filed candidate paperwork on March 16.

But filing his candidacy was a calculated decision. 

“My opponent won this district (in 2022), but it was at about a 62% to 38% margin,” he said. “But 2022 is different than 2024. The mood of the electorate has changed. You’ve got a presidential race going on, which is going to change things. You’re going to have a different turnout. And I think we saw last fall with the auditor’s race that people are in a different mood about the status quo.” 

 In the fall of 2023, a highly contested county auditor race between Democrat Kimberly Sheets and Republican David Whipple gained national attention and ended with Sheets winning a usually red-leaning district.

Whipple, a known conspiracy theorist, was appointed by the county board of supervisors after former Warren County Auditor Traci Vanderlinden announced her retirement in May of 2023.

“I think in terms of now versus then, it’s a totally different mood, It’s a totally different race,” Waugh said. “So, we made the decision to jump into it.”

Once election day comes near, Waugh and Simpson Administration will re-evaluate the circumstances and think about what lies ahead for the exploratory program. 

“There is no reason to make that decision and re-think this position until we have to,” he said. “So, if we need to, and we hope we will, we will rethink that position in November.”

With his extensive knowledge from teaching debate for his entire career, he hopes he can bring his knowledge to the table of the Iowa Legislature.

“I can truly look any one of you in the eye and say that I understand both sides of any argument,” Waugh said at his campaign kickoff on March 26. “Right now, at this time, with the state of politics in this country, it is time for change in our State House of Representatives.”

You can find more about Waugh and his campaign for Iowa House District 21 on his campaign website.

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Kyle Werner
Kyle Werner, Managing Editor & Social Media Manager

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