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Yes, you can run for public office even with a criminal record

Local 5 broke down the legal qualifications to run for public office in Iowa.

ANKENY, Iowa —

Many Ankeny residents have shared concerns after Issac Holtz, who admitted to sending threatening emails to staff at Waukee High School in 2020, set up a website exploring a run for school board.

Holtz pleaded guilty to one count of Threat of Terrorism and is spending three years on probation.

That has raised the question: What are the qualifications to run for a public office like school board?

Our sources: The Iowa Association of School Board and the Iowa Legislature.

These are the qualifications to run for school board in Iowa: 

  • You have to be a U.S. citizen. 
  • You have to be 18 years or older
  • You have to be a resident of the school district
  • You have to be eligible to register to vote

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In August 2020, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an executive order allowing most Iowa felons the right to vote. 

So if you have a felony conviction on your record, you can still vote, and therefore, you can, under the law, run for school board. 

So we can verify: Yes, you can run for school board even if you have a criminal record. 

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