State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer
State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer
Friday, November 2, 2012

State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, D-Manilla, and Carroll Republican Barney Bornhoft are squaring off Tuesday to represent the new Iowa House District 12.

After post-2010 census redistricting, House District 12 is comprised of all of Carroll and Audubon counties and the eastern half of Crawford County.

Muhlbauer serves as ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee.

During session, Muhlbauer said, he receives 50 to 300 emails daily and tries to answer all of them.

“I make a lot of phone calls back, and I listen constantly to what they tell me so I know how to vote and what positions I need to take,” he said.

For his part, Muhlbauer and his family operate Muhlbauer Cattle, an 1,800-acre operation in the Manilla area. Most of the land is located in Crawford County where it is used for row crops. Muhlbauer also has land holdings in Shelby County (80 acres) and Audubon County (120 acres).

Muhlbauer said he is widely supported by the more muscular agricultural associations in Iowa, including the corn growers, cattlemen, pork producers and turkey producers.

“I will do what is best for the state of Iowa and for this district no matter what party comes up with the idea,” Muhlbauer said.

A salesman for Prenger’s Flooring America, Bornhoft said he would bring conservative principles to the job of state representative.

Bornhoft, who in interviews and public appearances and in campaign materials has made his impassioned opposition to abortion central in his bid, says there should be no exceptions for legal abortions in cases of rape and incest should abortion be re-criminalized in Iowa.

“I think pro-life means what it says — pro life, meaning as bad,  as heinous, as rape is, to murder the baby is even worse,” Bornhoft said. “To take a wrong that has been committed, and then to add murder on top of that, I can’t see at all.”

What’s more, Bornhoft recently told the Carroll Rotary Club that he talked to a doctor about the issue of providing legal exceptions in a post Roe v. Wade world for women whose lives may in danger as a result of pregnancy.

“The doctor said to me, he said, ‘Barney, when that happens, when a woman comes in who is pregnant, who is having problems delivering the baby, there’s not a doctor around that first thinks, well we gotta kill the baby first, and then we’ll see if we can protect the mother,’” Bornhoft said. “You go into it to protect both. You go into it to make sure that the baby is delivered healthy and that the mother is healthy, and I think that’s the key.”

He said there could be times when “the baby has to be taken” to save the mother, suggesting a possible abortion exception in those cases.

“That’s a decision,” Bornhoft said.

But the Carroll Republican said most women likely would choose the lives of their babies over their own anyway.

“If we were to take a poll and ask the majority of mothers: ‘Do you want the baby to be dead, or Lord forbid, do you want to die, here’s the option?’” Bornhoft said. “I know what happens the kids are 3, 4, 5 years old. I know what happens then. They’ll do anything to keep the life of that child.”

Muhlbauer has described himself as a pro-life candidate on abortion who makes exceptions for rape and incest and where the life of the mother is in danger.