Lone Tree City Council member Nicholas Gluba plans to run for Congress as a Libertarian in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, he announced Wednesday.

Gluba, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, will join what is anticipated to be a competitive race between incumbent Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Democrat Christina Bohannan, a former state representative. Miller-Meeks staved off a primary challenge from David Pautsch earlier this month.

In a news release, the Libertarian Party of Iowa said Gluba’s priorities include individual liberty, property rights, a free-market economy, gun rights and opposition to foreign intervention.

“I am running on a platform of freedom for all people regardless of ethnicity, religion, social status, and gender. My campaign is built on the principles of personal freedom, economic opportunity, and accountable government,” Gluba said in a statement.

Iowa’s Libertarian Party regained official party status under state law after the 2022 election, when its gubernatorial candidate garnered more than 2 percent of the vote in the state. The party’s 2024 presidential candidate will need to take in at least 2 percent of the vote to retain that status.

Gluba was not a candidate in the party’s June 4 primary election. The party will need to hold a district convention to nominate him and submit paperwork to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office to get Gluba on the November ballot.

Betsy DeVos to speak at Family Leader conference

In this March 27, 2020, photo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Betsy DeVos, former U.S. secretary of education under then-President Donald Trump, will be a featured speaker at the conservative Christian group The Family Leader’s annual conference on July 12.

The group’s annual conference, The Family Leadership Summit, has been a magnet for GOP presidential candidates in recent years as they courted the evangelical vote ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

Joel C. Rosenberg, a Christian author who covers news in Israel and the Middle East, also will speak at the event, along with Egyptian American pastor Michael Youssef.

“With emphases on Israel, parental rights in education, religious liberty, and more, there’s no doubt this will be one of the most timely and personally relevant FAMiLY Leadership Summits yet,” said a statement from Family Leader President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Vander Plaats.

The group has also invited President Joe Biden and Trump to the event, along with independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., according to its website.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears, both Republicans, are also invited speakers.

Congressional candidates win endorsements

Two national political organizations, one Democratic and one Republican, announced endorsements for Iowa congressional candidates following last week’s primary election.

Americans for Prosperity Action, a conservative group founded by Charles and David Koch, endorsed Republican incumbent Mariannette Miller-Meeks in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District following her primary win over Republican David Pautsch last week. The group endorsed Republican Rep. Zach Nunn in the 3rd Congressional District last year.

“I am proud to receive the support of AFP Action and its dedicated grassroots team,” Miller-Meeks said in a statement. “We are both committed to removing barriers to opportunity and helping Iowans improve their lives.”

Democratic challengers to Miller-Meeks and Nunn also notched endorsements after last week’s primary by the nation’s largest federal employee union.

The American Federation of Government Employees announced it had endorsed Christina Bohannan in the 1st District and Lanon Baccam in the 3rd District. Both are Democrats.

The union said both candidates will fight for federal employees and their right to collectively bargain.

“Lanon Baccam has the perfect resume to fight for federal employees,” said District 8 National Vice President Ruark Hotopp in a statement. “As a combat veteran, a former USDA official, and a public servant, he understands the unique challenges and needs of federal workers.”

Both districts are expected to be competitive elections that have already attracted significant national attention.

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