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Forristall’s Widow Should Drop Out

My mom died all of a sudden about a week after she turned 60. My dad was crushed. He had just started transitioning into retirement where he would have a lot more time to travel and visit grandkids. He barely slept and would walk around the house finding reminders of her.

We completely renovated the house changing everything from the fixtures to the floor plan. My dad could walk around the house without finding ghosts of my mother in every corner. His mood improved and he started enjoying his life again.

I can empathize with Carol Forristall. For the last decade she has been with her husband in Des Moines helping him represent House District 22. Every day she would help him tend to emails and phone calls while preparing for committee meetings. There is a culture unto its own at the Capitol. Cops have cop friends. Legislators have legislator friends. You attend banquets and cocktail parties together. Carol wasn’t just losing a husband. She was losing a big part of her social network. It is life changing to lose a spouse. But a change of scenery could do her good. And my heart goes out to her but this race is about who will represent 1% of Iowans at the State Capitol.

Carol told delegates that her husband wanted her to have the seat before his death created a need for a special election. Republicans weren’t swayed. After losing at the Republican convention with more than 75% of the delegates voting against her, Carol Forristall filed to run as an Independent.

My dad hesitated when we threw out old, ripped up clothes, broken glasses and damaged shoes. But when construction was done and the paint was dry he discovered he could be happy again and spend time with his grandkids.

When asked about the results of the Republican Convention, Pottawattamie GOP Chair, Jeff Jorgensen offered a response.

“This is my fourth term as Pottawattamie County Chair. In that span of time, I have seen several primary races where the candidates running for the same office were either good friends of mine or people who I highly respect and admire. In those situations, there will be winners and losers. For me, that has always been the hardest part of this job. I have had to console and deal with the disappointment of many a loser over the years, in primaries and in the general elections. The one thing I will always respect is the process and the results of honest elections. Both Jon and Carol knew that I would be happy with whoever won, and I would be supporting and working hard for that person. Jon has been a good friend of mine for many years, and Greg and Carol have always had my utmost respect and admiration (Greg was one of my favorite state representatives), but the convention delegates made their decision. As such I wish Carol the best, but I will be working hard to see that Jon Jacobsen is elected as our next state representative from House District 22.”

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John Thompson of Jefferson is a graduate of West Point and Harvard. He serves on the Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee and is a candidate for State Treasurer.