Meet the Freshmen: Randy Feenstra
This is the second in a series of articles introducing you to the Freshmen Class members of the Republican Main Street Partnership. This week: Rep. Randy Feenstra, 52, of Iowa.
District/Area Served: Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, representing the northwestern and north central part of the state, including Sioux City, Ames, Mason City, Fort Dodge, Boone and Carroll
Background: Feenstra was born and raised in Hull, Iowa, where he has served as City Administrator, Sioux County Treasurer, and Iowa state Senator. Feenstra received a bachelor’s degree from Dordt University and went on to receive his MPA from Iowa State University. After a successful tenure as head of sales for the Foreign Candy Company, he began teaching business and economics classes at Dordt University. He was a leading conservative voice in the state Senate with a record of defending Christian values and fighting for Iowa taxpayers as the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
Family: Married to Lynette, his wife of 28 years. They have four children ranging in age from 14 to 24.
Legislative Priorities: As a member of the Agriculture, Budget, and Science, Space, and Technology Committees, Rep. Feenstra is focused on delivering results for Iowa farmers, families, and main street businesses. He is working to provide pricing transparency in ag markets, ensure workers have the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy, expand high-speed internet access, lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs, and he is fighting against burdensome regulations and taxes that harm workers and business owners.
Political Experience: Defeated incumbent Rep. Steve King in the June 2020 Republican primary. As a state Senator and Chairman of the Iowa Senate Ways and Means Committee, he was the key architect of the largest state income tax cut in state history and led the way on reducing property taxes. Feenstra also supported the largest expansion of Second Amendment rights in Iowa history, co-sponsoring the constitutional carry bill, helping stop the implementation of red-flag laws in Iowa, and supporting Iowa’s stand-your-ground law.
Media Comment: “Feenstra - a three-term state senator from Hull in conservative stronghold Sioux County who possesses additional experience in public service at local and county levels of government, as well as in business - checks all the right boxes in terms of stands on issues, including domestic economic and social issues” (Sioux City Journal endorsement, 5/31/2020)
What advice do you wish someone had given you before you arrived in Congress? It’s important to collaborate with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find agreement where you can, instead of turning everything into a polarizing issue.
What’s the question that you wish more people would ask themselves? What am I doing to represent and deliver for my state and the nation, and am I doing this effectively?
What does success in 2021 look like for you? Successfully articulating the importance of economic growth by helping our main streets and business community.
What do you think is the best path to breaking gridlock in Congress? Collaborating and understanding that everyone sees things through a different lens, so trying to see other people’s viewpoints. Author Mary Parker Follett has a great analogy about this -- playing one piano key cannot make music, but playing multiple keys can create a beautiful song.
At what point in your life did you realize you had the power of change or the power to do something meaningful? When I became City Administrator of Hull, I started to realize I could make significant and meaningful change. Margaret Mead said it best, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”
How do you want to be remembered? As a man of integrity, thoughtfulness, and as someone who delivered positive results for our state and country.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received (and who gave it to you)? A CEO once told me it’s better to listen than to always be talking and explaining yourself.
Interesting fact that’s not on your resume? I have run four marathons!
What advice would you give yourself coming out of college? The harder you work, the more success you’ll find and the more you will accomplish.
What’s a book that you give as a gift or recommend most (including a “why” would be great)? I’d have to say there are two: Good to Great by Jim Collins and Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Both are great inspirational books for leaders and provide valuable lessons in leadership.
What kind of music do you listen to while you’re working? 1980s rock, and the bands Styx and Boston