Beall vows to keep working for vets

By BILL SHEA

bshea@messengernews.net

SOMERS – State Sen. Daryl Beall pledged Sunday to keep working in a bipartisan way on things like job training and support for veterans during a fourth term in office.

”When re-elected, I will continue to work in a collaborative, pro-active, positive, bipartisan way,” the Democrat from Fort Dodge said during a campaign event in Calhoun County.

”To my Democratic friends and supporters, I will continue to fight for our values,” he added. ”To my Republican friends and supporters, I will continue to work across the aisle in a bipartisan manner.”

State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald and state Sen. Janet Petersen, D-Des Moines, also spoke at the event, held on the farm of Greg and Trish Moore west of Somers. About 75 people attended.

Beall faces Republican Tim Kraayenbrink, of Fort Dodge, in the Nov. 4 general election.

They are competing to represent Senate Distict 5, which includes Calhoun, Humboldt and Pocahontas counties plus most of Webster County.

Beall listed education, job training, economic development, expanded use of renewable energy and increasing access to health care among his priorities.

Improving the state’s infrastructure was also on his list of objectives.

”We are going to complete a new four-lane U.S. Highway 20,” he said.

Beall is the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and he devoted more of his Sunday evening remarks to veterans work than any other issue.

”I want to continue serving those who have served us,” he said. ”We cannot do enough and we cannot do too much for these, our unsung heroes.”

The senator said he has worked on a long list of measures to aid veterans, including the enactment of a full homestead tax credit for veterans who are completely disabled. During this year’s legislative session, he supported the Home Base Iowa initiative, which among other things, makes military retirement pay exempt from the state income tax. That measure was signed into law by Gov. Terry Branstad.

He said he wants to work on providing more mental health care to veterans.

”It breaks my heart that we are losing more veterans today to suicide than we are to combat,” he said.

Petersen, Beall’s fellow senator, said he had a leading role in investigating management problems at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown.

Fitzgerald said re-electing Beall is a way to help maintain a Democratic majority in the state Senate. He said keeping that majority is needed to ”keep our sanity in state government.”

Fitzgerald, who has been in office since 1983, is the longest serving state treasurer in the nation. He’s seeking re-election this year against Republican Sam, Clovis, of Hinton.