Longtime Iowa legislator Rob Bacon bows out of 2022 election, endorses Rep. Phil Thompson

Danielle Gehr
Ames Tribune
Rob Bacon

After nearly a decade in the Iowa House, Rep. Rob Bacon will not seek reelection in 2022. 

Bacon, R-Slater, was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010. After redistricting in the following years, he ran for the 48th District House seat, representing all of Hamilton County and portions of Webster, Boone and Story counties, since 2013. 

Bacon's final term will end in January, marking 10 years in the Iowa House. The former Nevada and Slater funeral home owner is looking forward to working on his short game in golf, camping, and spending time with grandkids after his time at the Statehouse ends. 

"Let me put it this way, I'm going to miss the people down here," Bacon said. "I'm going to miss the procedure down here quite a bit."

Rep. Phil Thompson speaks during a House subcommittee hearing on Jan. 25, 2021.

Bacon said he had already discussed with his family the possibility of not seeking reelection. When redistricting put him in the same district as Republican colleague Rep. Phil Thompson, that sealed his decision. The new House District 48 represents all of Boone County and a portion of Story County, including part of Ames. 

"Phil's a good representative and I decided to make good on not running again," Bacon said. "Not a fun decision, not an easy one, but right now I'm feeling that it was the right one."

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District 49 Rep. Dave Deyoe, R-Nevada, will be running unopposed for the District 51 seat now due to redistricting. No Democrat opponent is listed in the Iowa Secretary of State primary candidate list.

Rep. Dave Deyoe

When Bacon ran for office, his main objective was to lower taxes for Iowans. He said this objective has been achieved after Reynolds signed the 3.9% flat tax bill this year following previous reductions in 2018 and 2021. Over the next few years, Iowa will lower top earners' tax rates until all Iowans pay the same rate.

Bacon said he is proud of the work the Iowa Legislature has done on rural health and telehealth, and hopes to see future legislators continue to focus on mental health. 

"Iowa's the best-kept secret in the country," Bacon said. "With our state parks, our county conservation areas and everything. We've got the greatest people ... It's wonderful."

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Danielle Gehr is a politics and government reporter for the Ames Tribune. She can be reached by email at dgehr@gannett.com, phone at (515) 663-6925 or on Twitter at @Dani_Gehr.