(Des Moines) -- KMA News continues its "Meet the Candidates" series, featuring the candidates running in key countywide, legislative and statewide races in the June 7 Iowa Primary. Today's segment features the first of three individuals seeking the Republican nomination in Iowa's Third Congressional District, Zach Nunn.
A Southeast Polk High School graduate, Nunn served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 2015-2019 and is now a member of the Iowa Senate. Nunn holds advanced degrees in international security from Cambridge University, cybersecurity from Air Command & Staff College and strategy & technology innovation from Air War College. Nunn joined the Air Force in 2002 and flew over 700 hours of combat missions during three deployments to the Middle East. He is currently a Lieutenant Colonel with the Iowa Air National Guard. Nunn says the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last year solidified his choice to run for federal office.
"When the Biden Administration pulled out of Afghanistan after multiple tours there, they left behind thousands of Americans and allies who had served with us," said Nunn. "I was very hurt. America has never left a man behind and not worked hard to try and save them. We put together a private rescue mission. We flew multiple flights over and carried out over 2,500 Americans and allies after the U.S. flag fell in Kabul."
Nunn says the current administration missed an opportunity to be a global leader in the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Nunn says the U.S. should have set harder "red lines" with consequences for the Russian government. He also says more could be done right now to help Ukraine.
"We have Russian MiG-29s sitting in NATO countries like Poland, Romania and Bulgaria that could immediately have gone to the front and been able to provide a level of air protection for a country like Ukraine so we don't have the type of tragic events playing out in places like Mariupol and Kharkiv that we're seeing today. Standing up to the Russians is more than standing up to Putin. It's sending a clear message that the United States is a leader on this. We stand with our allies and we're not going to allow other countries to push us around because that has a ripple-on effect directly to farms, families and communities here in Iowa."
During his time in the State Legislature, Nunn points to work he did to help pass a flat income tax rate, as well as work to enshrine Second Amendment rights in the Iowa Constitution. With inflation rates up, Nunn says the current federal government's plan is not working. He says he favors a federal approach similar to what has been done in Iowa with a lower tax rate.
"When that money gets back into taxpayers' pockets, they spend that locally," said Nunn. "They grow their Main Street, the re-invest in their farm or business and most importantly they spend that money in their immediate family's vicinity, which grows the overall area. It's not a government spend plan."
Nunn says another effort that could help curb inflation is a return to energy independence for the country. Nunn says Iowa can be a leader nationally in homegrown fuel and energy production.
"We can be the start of an energy independence plan that is all of the above," said Nunn. "That means biodiesel becomes a priority of the country. It means ethanol can be sold all year round, not some arbitrary EPA restrictions three months out of the year. It also means that we can be smart about being a good state for conservation of energy by building things better, which we've proven here at both the University of Iowa and Iowa State. Also, our solar, our wind, our nuclear, our hydro can all be part of the solution here."
You can hear the full interview with Nunn below.
Our next "Meet the Candidates" segment will look at the second of three candidates for the GOP nomination in the Third Congressional District, Gary Leffler.