Carroll Mayor Adam Schweers, a GOP candidate for a western Iowa State Senate seat, speaks with Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds Wednesday night at Santa Maria Winery. Reynolds represented a southern Iowa district in the State Senate before being elected lieutenant governor on the Republican ticket with Gov. Terry Branstad.&nbsp; <span style="font-size: xx-small;"><em>Daily Times Herald photo by Douglas Burns</em></span>
Carroll Mayor Adam Schweers, a GOP candidate for a western Iowa State Senate seat, speaks with Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds Wednesday night at Santa Maria Winery. Reynolds represented a southern Iowa district in the State Senate before being elected lieutenant governor on the Republican ticket with Gov. Terry Branstad.  Daily Times Herald photo by Douglas Burns
Thursday, April 19, 2012

(Audio) Republican State Senate candidate Adam Schweers says he does not believe citizens should be able to carry concealed weapons into Carroll’s city office or the Carroll County Courthouse.

But more broadly Schweers said he supports the right of people to possess concealed weapons in daily life. Such rights, though, should stop at the doors of certain government buildings, as they do now, Schweers said in an interview with The Daily Times Herald and Carroll Broadcasting Wednesday following his campaign launch at Santa Maria Winery.

“The state has really spoken on that matter,” Schweers said. “At this point I don’t think that there’s any need for discussion. Folks now have the right to carry that firearm and, you know, they fought for years for that ability and they have that now.”

Schweers said he has “a lot different angles” that he’s concerned with regarding proposed “stand-your-ground” legislation before the Iowa Legislature. Such measures would allow people in Iowa who feel threatened more leeway when it comes to using lethal force.

“To what extent local control is able to be taken care of, I think that is a discussion that needs to continue to have because I do believe that our folks that are elected should have the opportunity to make decisions for their communities,” Schweers said.

Gov. Terry Branstad, in endorsing Schweers, the mayor of Carroll, repeatedly cited the candidate’s opposition to abortion as a key issue in the race for Iowa Senate District 6.

“I think that is going to be a very important issue in this election campaign as it always is,” Branstad said.

Kenny Snyder of rural Glidden, an active member of Carroll County Pheasants Forever and friend of Branstad’s, said he talked to Schweers for 30 minutes about abortion issues.

“Believe me, the man is strong on pro-life,” Snyder said.

Added Snyder: “That’s the reason, if for no other reason, I will vote for Adam Schweers, because he is pro-life.”

In the media interview Schweers said abortion should not be legal in Iowa.

Should there be exemptions for legal abortion in the cases of rape and incest?

“To be honest with you, no,” Schweers said.

Schweers said he has friends whose daughter was in such a situation.

“That was not an easy decision, an easy situation for them or their daughter to go through,” Schweers said. “But in the end they have a 6-year-old grandson at this point who is beautiful and they wouldn’t change the world. Having him in their life, things could have been a lot different if she would have made a different choice.”

Schweers said he is not in a position at this point to determine what the penalty should be for a woman who has an abortion or a physician who performs one.

“Do I think it’s murder?” Schweers said. “Well, it’s killing an unborn child.”

He added, “Morally, it’s not a good situation for anyone to be in. I don’t support it and personally I think that there’s a lot of other issues that I’d like to probably move on and talk about at this point.”

On an energy issue before the state Schweers said he supports the state exploring nuclear energy. But he didn’t say whether he would be comfortable with a nuclear power plant being located in Carroll County, or anywhere else in Iowa Senate District 6. Schweers speculated that land values in the area are too high for such a prospect to be realistic.

Moving on to taxes, Schweers said commercial property owners pay “an awful, awful lot.” He said there is merit in commercial property tax reduction in Iowa. He said the city of Carroll is considering labor-cost reductions and other efficiencies to deal with the potential of lost revenue should the state move on lowering the 100 percent commercial tax rate.

“It’s going to probably force some of us to make a little bit harder decisions at a local level,” Schweers said. “But all in all the impact that we can have if we can create a better business climate, that money is gonna go back into our local communities. It’s just a matter of how and where.”

The Carroll County Republican Party Platform calls for the elimination of the minimum wage.

“I believe that increasing the minimum wage would be a very, very, very, very bad idea, I can tell you that,” Schweers said.

That said, Schweers said he has not seen financial studies to persuade him that the elimination of the minimum wage would be a “positivity.”

“I think that still keeps our restaurants and those folks in a position where they can pay somebody on those slow nights,” he said. “Knowing that my wife has worked in that capacity those slow nights pretty much you’re gonna get your minimum wage because you’re not going to get a lot of tips.”

Schweers is one of three candidates in the June Republican primary for the Iowa Senate District 6 seat. Crawford County Supervisor Mark Segebart and Sac County Deputy Matt Biede also are seeking the office.

“I’d say out of the three candidates I have far and away the best ability of working with people,” Schweers said. “I have a strong history, a big background in communication and working with folks.”

Back on social issues, Schweers said he is opposed to gay marriage.

“That’s just my belief,” Schweers said. “I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

That’s a reflection of the way he was raised, said Schweers, 33, a native of Arcadia who now attends St. Paul Lutheran Church in Carroll.

“I don’t think I know anybody in town (Carroll) that’s gay and married,” Schweers said.

He added, “Personally, I think that the issue for me is that the word ‘marriage’ is something established by the church and recognized by the church.”

Schweers said he does not support civil unions for gay couples, either.

On education, Schweers said parents should have more school choice. He supports increased tuition tax credits for parents who want to send their children to private schools.

“I couldn’t give you an exact number on that,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in any position to do that because I don’t know exactly what the education bill is going to look like next year and what the total amount of spending is going to end up being.”

According to the Iowa Department of Revenue, taxpayers who have one or more dependents attending grades K-12 in an Iowa school may take a credit for each dependent for amounts paid for tuition and textbooks. The credit is 25 percent of the first $1,000 paid for each dependent for tuition and textbooks.