Jan 20, 2022 - Politics

Former Iowa Rep. Kevin McCarthy running for Polk County attorney

Kevin McCarthy, wearing a bright blue shirt and yellow tie, delivers a speech as the Iowa House minority leader back in 2011.
Kevin McCarthy delivering a speech on the final day of the 2011 Iowa Legislative session. Photo: Charlie Neibergall/AP

Former Iowa House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is running for Polk County attorney.

Why it matters: The office shapes the direction of local law enforcement and whoever lands the job will likely bring policy change.

  • John Sarcone, a Democrat who has held the office for more than three decades, isn't seeking re-election this year.

State of play: McCarthy — the son of former Des Moines police chief and Polk County sheriff Bill McCarthy — is among at least two other Democrats who have already joined the race.

  • Kimberly Graham, an attorney and advocate for neglected and abused children, and Laura Roan, an assistant Polk County attorney, are also in the running.

Bio, in brief: McCarthy served as an Iowa assistant attorney general until taking a job last year with the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters union.

What he's saying: McCarthy told Axios he plans to unveil proposals in the coming weeks to create a mental health division within the office and launch an anti-bullying initiative with area schools.

  • He also said he hopes to improve enforcement of worker exploitation, human trafficking and environmental laws.

Of note: No GOP candidates have announced bids for the role to county party organizers yet, Gloria Mazza, chair of the Polk County Republicans, told Axios this week.

  • Yes, but: There's still time. The deadline to file for the June 7 primary is March 25.
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