Republican state Senate candidate Heath Hansen and his wife, Sarah, of Audubon have one daughter, 3-year-old Vesper (which means ‘morning star’ in Latin). Hansen, a pastor in Audubon, has announced he is running for Iowa Senate District 6, which is currently held by Mark Segebart. Segebart has said he is not running for re-election. Hansen is the first candidate to publicly announce for the district.
Republican state Senate candidate Heath Hansen and his wife, Sarah, of Audubon have one daughter, 3-year-old Vesper (which means ‘morning star’ in Latin). Hansen, a pastor in Audubon, has announced he is running for Iowa Senate District 6, which is currently held by Mark Segebart. Segebart has said he is not running for re-election. Hansen is the first candidate to publicly announce for the district.

March 12, 2019

An Audubon pastor who was raised on a farm in northwest Iowa and is running on a strong anti-abortion and pro-gun- rights platform has announced his campaign as a Republican for Iowa Senate District 6.

The district, which includes Audubon, Carroll, Sac and Buena Vista counties and part of Crawford County, currently is represented by State Sen. Mark Segebart, R-Vail. Segebart has said he will not run for a third term in 2020.

Heath Hansen, 30, the pastor of Audubon Church of Christ and vice president of that city’s school board, is the first candidate of any party to formally announce a campaign in the district.

“I’ve always had a passion for rural Iowa and politics around this area,” Hansen said in a phone interview Sunday afternoon following church services. “I want to get involved to make sure rural Iowa has a voice and not everything is dictated by Des Moines.”

Hansen, when asked a wide-open question about what issues he would stress as an elected official, pointed to support for anti-abortion measures such as so-called personhood and fetal-heart-beat policies that would define life as beginning when medical professionals can detect a heartbeat in the womb.

Asked if there is any circumstance in which an abortion should be legal in Iowa, Hansen said, “I lean toward ‘no,’ but I would be willing to allow it on life of the mother; I would be willing to concede on that.”

Hansen also said voters can expect him to protect the Second Amendment.

“I’m going to be pretty big on gun rights,” he said. “We have a very strong gun culture throughout Iowa.”

Hansen said the overarching philosophy of his service will be to support small towns and rural areas in Iowa.

“Small towns turn out great leaders and make good people,” he said.

While he grew up on a farm in Smithland, the son of a teacher mom and county maintenance worker father, Hansen said he would work to understand current issues facing agriculture — update the base knowledge he developed as a youngster.

“I was raised on a farm, but I don’t know everything a farmer would know,” Hansen said.

An alum of Nebraska Christian College in Omaha, Nebraska, Hansen has been the pastor at the Audubon Church of Christ since 2012. He sees a role model in former State Rep. Rod Roberts of Carroll, a Republican legislator from Carroll who ran for governor in 2010 and now is Iowa’s labor commissioner. Roberts served as a pastor before entering politics.

Hansen said being a member of the clergy brings clarity to his campaign.

“If you want to know where I stand, it’s pretty easy to know where I stand,” Hansen said.

Hansen said he doesn’t preach politics from the pulpit and won’t flip that script on the campaign trail.

People are going to get my values,” he said. “They’re not going to get me shoving my religion down people’s throats.”