Stacey Walker chooses not to run for Congress

Stacey Walker, the first African American elected to the Linn County Board of Supervisors, is sworn in by Kevin McKeever, the first African American District Court Judge in Iowa, on Thursday, November 17, 2016. (Michael Winn, KCRG-TV9)
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LINN COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker has decided against challenging Rod Blum for a seat in Congress after considering the race for several months.

In a statement posted to his website, he says the addition of candidates to the primary field and more work to be done in Linn County are some of the reasons he ruled out the congressional bid.

"My best and highest use as a public servant at this moment is to continue to serve the people of my home county," said Supervisor Walker.

While State Representative Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque has been campaigning for several months, Iowa native and former Obama administration official Thomas Heckroth, Courtney Rowe an aerospace engineer at Rockwell Collins, and former military recruiter George Ramsey of Marion recently announced their candidacies.

Although Walker was recently elected to the Linn County Board of Supervisors in November of 2016, his demonstrated leadership ability while in office prompted many Democratic leaders to encourage him to become a candidate in what Democrats are hoping will be competitive race.

One of those leaders is former congressional candidate Gary Kroeger. In May, Kroeger published a piece in the progressive blog Bleeding Heartland where he cited Walker's "impressive knowledge of issues," "passionate activism," and "engaging presentation of substantive ideas" as reasons he should consider entering the race.

In November of 2016, Walker became the first African American to be elected to the Linn County Board of Supervisors.

He won the election by nearly a 3 to 1 margin, and has since led several initiatives including working to raise the minimum wage, committing Linn County to the Paris Climate Agreement, securing funding for small businesses affected by the flood of 2016 and implementing the recommendations of the SET Task Force.