Meet the Candidate: Tricia Gavin (Iowa)

9 mins read

Candidate Name: Tricia Gavin

Photo provided by the campaign.

What office are you running for?
State Senate in District 22 (which covers Waukee, Clive, Windsor Heights and parts of West Des Moines) against incumbent Charles Schneider (R).

With which party are you running for office?
Democratic Party

Election Date
The Democratic primary is June 2, 2020.

Why are you running for office? 
2016 was pivotal. I decided it was time to make a difference in my community to ensure all Iowans have a voice and make certain there is an equal gender representation in our state capitol. Our “Iowa nice” DNA is truly unique and we must protect the values we hold dear.

What is the biggest issue facing your community and how do you propose helping?


  • All students need quality education in a safe environment from Pre-K through college.
  • We need to make sure community colleges and state universities are affordable for every Iowan.
  • Educators and education support professionals in Iowa deserve 100% support from our state, which includes restoring their collective bargaining rights. Teachers need to be fully involved in educational decision-making.
  • Budgets need to be fully funded to ensure student proficiency for the 21st century.
  • Adverse student behaviors are impacting learning. We need to ensure safety preparedness and hire adequate staff to provide mental health support in our schools


  • Iowa ranks 44th in entrepreneurship and favorable business environment. We must improve our business infrastructure to grow our economy and attract high-paying and sustainable union jobs to our state.
  • We need to ensure that farmers receive fair compensation for their commodities and are not at the mercy of anti-competitive Big Ag monopolies.

Water Quality

  • Iowa ranks 41st in water quality in our country, which is unacceptable. We need to ensure all Iowans have access to clean drinking water and recreational water (which in turn brings more revenue into the state).
  • Elected officials need to provide enough funding to support permanent solutions to improve water quality to protect our families, pets, livestock and wild animals.

How do we fix the partisan divide in our country and start working together again?
As a marketing professional, I understand how to build solid relationships with individuals from varied demographic groups. We need to listen to one another, empathize with one another and ultimately DO something to help move the needle. It is always helpful to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. The state has always been unique in the degree that residents strongly identify with each other as Iowans. One of the reasons I decided to run for office was that I was upset that this unique “Iowa nice” part of our DNA was being ripped apart. It is something I want very much to repair.

Who is your hero?
My mom Kelly! She has worked tirelessly throughout her career and also raised three girls as a single mom for much of her life. For years, she was a recreational therapist in a child and adolescent psychology unit at a hospital. She is currently a special education teacher in Cedar Rapids. Listening and watching her, I have learned that children in the classroom need more access to mental health services. Throughout the state at large, mental health care and therapy are lacking. My mom has always done the right thing in her life and is always willing to help those in need. She is a true hero in my book and I am so grateful to have her as such a strong mentor and role model in my life.

What are your hobbies?
Right now I focus most of my time on my full-time job and campaigning (I love both)! However, I really enjoy hanging out with friends and family, a wonderful meal out, watching the Iowa Hawkeyes and catching an episode of Dateline on Friday nights. I was a state golf champion and played in college. I wish I got out on the links more — golf is something I’d like to recommit to.

What is the most recent book you read?
I am currently reading the book Water by Jennifer Wilson (a limited publication by Raygun). It is a very interesting fictional read that follows a Des Moines reporter who begrudgingly covers the water quality beat in the state. It’s an interesting and entertaining way to read about a very serious issue impacting Iowa. I also just downloaded the audio book Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell and it is also really good!

Do you have any kids/pets/talking houseplants?
I have two adorable dogs. One is a 10-year-old black Pug named Cricket and the other is a 1-year-old Chug (Chihuahua/Pug mix) named Lark. They are spoiled and are just so much fun. They dress up on holidays and special occasions for goofy photo ops, but really all they want is the treat reward.

How can our readers get involved in your campaign?
We would LOVE to have you join the team of fantastic volunteers and supporters!

Here are a few ideas:

  • Please note that we have a role for any person based on your desires. Our motto is that if we aren’t having fun, then this is not the right gig for us.
  • We meet every two weeks for postcards and pizza on Monday evenings.
  • We are recruiting volunteers to support our primary efforts in MANY different capacities.
  • LIKE our Facebook page and sign up for our email list to keep up with what is going on.
  • Email to learn more today!
    Talk to you soon!!

What question do you wish we’d asked, and what is your answer?

What makes you stand out from the other primary candidates?

  • I am a native Iowan from Cedar Rapids with experience in government, military, corporate and small business environments. Currently, I serve as a product marketing manager helping credit unions compete with banks. I believe we need more experienced women in our state capitol to have an equitable gender voice at the table. Currently, only 11 of 50 state senators are women.
  • I have created government-wide policy, am a collaborative Democrat and will walk a mile in someone’s shoes to understand different perspectives. We need fresh experience and perspectives in our legislature and someone who is strong and savvy to take on the incumbent. I am this person!
  • I am very proud that the Teamsters have endorsed my campaign.

Candidate Social Media:
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Post created from answers submitted by candidate to our Meet the Candidate survey.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks, but are sustained solely on donations from grassroots supporters. Because our revenue isn’t click-driven, we don’t take in any direct revenue from the creative contributions of grassroots activists who post on the site. This sets us apart from other media sites. And we’re proud of that.

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