Mary Lundby’s son to run as Democrat

Daniel Lunby

The late Mary Lundby was a state representative when she helped the GOP win control of the Iowa House of Representatives in the early 1990s.  She sought election as House Speaker, but Republicans in the House opted for Harold Van Maanen, a long-time legislator, instead.  She was elected to the #3 position in the House GOP leadership — House Speaker Pro Tempore.

Lundby then ran for the state senate and at the end of her tenure there she was elected Senate Majority Leader.  She was also one of the few GOP legislators who openly campaigned for Congressman Fred Grandy when Grandy challenged Terry Branstad in the 1994 GOP Primary. After 22 years in the legislature, Lundby announced she wouldn’t seek reelection to the senate and intended to run for the Linn County Board of Supervisors.  She didn’t get to finish that last race, though, as she died of cancer in early 2009.

Her son has just announced his intentions to run for the legislature, as a Democrat.  Read the news release below.

Marion, Iowa – Daniel Lundby, 35, announced today he is running for the Iowa House in Marion, Iowa and its surrounding areas.  Lundby, son of the late Senator Mary Lundby, will run as a Democrat.

“My mother believed in a common sense approach to solving problems through partisan politics.  I want to bring that common sense back to the Iowa House.  My mother also strongly cared about children in Iowa and wanted them to get the best education possible.  Unfortunately, the needs of our young people now seem less important with the Republicans insisting on zero percent growth for local schools and education cuts to state universities.  None of which my mother would approve of.  Nor would she support cutting programs that protect our natural resources and our environment.  She would definitely not support attempts to deny equal rights to any Iowan.  Being my mother’s son, I want the chance to continue her work for a better Iowa.”

Lundby said his decision to run for the Iowa House, in the same area his mother held for almost a quarter century, is for the same reason his mother did in 1986.  “She saw a need for fresh new ideas not fueled by party agendas, but through listening to the voters who elected her.  It is that same attention my mother gave her voters that I want to bring back to the constituents of House District 68.”

Explaining his decision to switch parties, Lundby said, “I changed my party affiliation from Republican to Democrat because the Republican Party and the people I was supporting no longer placed the best interests of Iowa and its voters before their own party agenda.”

For example, Lundby named improving the educational system in Iowa, to offer young Iowans more options for getting good jobs in the ever-changing workplace, as one of his main reasons for running for state representative.  In addition, Lundby wants to create jobs by finding better ways to recruit new small businesses to come to Iowa and assisting those businesses that are already creating jobs in Iowa, like his Grandmother Betty Hoehl’s bridal shop. 
Daniel Lundby was born in Cedar Rapids and raised in Marion.  His father, Michael Lundby, is a Machinist painter at Quaker Oats and has been a member of Machinist Local Union 831 for 29 years.  Daniel attended St. Joseph’s Elementary school, in Marion, and graduated from Regis Catholic High School.  He was active in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and spent summers as a camp counselor.  He also spent time in the summers at his grandparents’ farm in Decorah.  From the age of seven, he began campaigning at his mother’s side. 

Daniel received an AA from Kirkwood Community College and a BS from Iowa State University.  He is currently working on a MS degree from Iowa State and is scheduled to graduate in December 2011.

Like many young Iowans, Daniel moved to New York City, for work, after receiving his BS degree but returned to Iowa to be with his mother in her last weeks of fighting cancer.  Shortly after the passing of his mother, his grandmother on his father’s side also passed away.  He returned to Iowa to support his father and family.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.