Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 18, 2018

Phil Miller elected to Iowa House

Defeats Travis Harris to win District 82 race
By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Aug 09, 2017

Fairfield resident Phil Miller was elected Tuesday during a special election to fill the Iowa House District 82 seat, previously held by Curt Hanson.

Gov. Kim Reynolds set the special election after Hanson’s passing earlier this summer. District 82 includes Davis, Van Buren and the majority of Jefferson County.

According to unofficial results, State Rep. elect Miller (Democrat) received 4,020 votes, while Bloomfield resident Travis Harris (Republican) garnered 3,324.

Joshua N. Miller (Libertarian) and Edward T. Hee III (Constitution Party of Iowa), were also in the running for the seat. Joshua Miller received 71 votes and Hee captured 58 votes.

“My thanks to the voters of House District 82 for their support tonight,” Phil said Tuesday. “I’m honored and humbled to be their State Representative, and follow in the footsteps of the late Rep. Curt Hanson. I will listen to the people of Davis, Jefferson and Van Buren counties and always do what’s right.”

Jefferson County Democratic Party chairwoman Susie Drish said that the community was united during the special election process.

“I think it shows that this community really came together to help Democrats in general overall. I’m so proud of this community, when everybody works together for the common good we can win,” she said. “No one person gets the credit — all get the credit as far as I’m concerned.”

In a statement after the election, Miller said that voters sent a clear message Tuesday night that they were tired of politics as usual.

“It’s time for us to work together for higher wages and new oportunties in our community; [to] strengthen our local schools; [to] make sure health care is both affordable and accessible, and to protect our natural resources,” Miller said.

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez released a statement after the election.

“Congratulations to Dr. Phil Miller for his victory in Iowa’s 82nd legislative district,” Perez said. “As a small-business owner, president of the Fairfield school board, and longtime resident of the district, Dr. Miller will stand up for the most vulnerable, and help build a brighter future for Iowa’s working families ...”

According to Miller’s biography, he was raised on a family farm and was an active 4-H member, He attended Iowa State University, and graduated with a degree in veterinary medicine. After college, Miller joined a large- and small-animal veterinary practice in Fairfield, where he works today.

In addition to running his business, Miller has been an active member of the community for decades. He currently serves as the president of the Fairfield Community School District Board of Directors. He is an active member of the First United Methodist Church. He has served on many committees, the church council and enjoys singing in the church choir. Phil has also served on the Jefferson County Board of Health.

Phil and his wife, Connie, have four adult children, Andy, Dan, Jane and Joe. They are both members of First United Methodist Church of Fairfield. Connie has been the school secretary at Washington Elementary School in Fairfield for over 20 years. In his free time, he enjoys reading, doing yard work, following Cyclone sports, and most of all, spending time with his grandchildren.

“As a small-business owner, I see the need to create good paying jobs with benefits right here in southeast Iowa,” Miller said. “Corporate tax giveaways haven’t created good paying jobs here in Jefferson, Davis and Van Buren counties. It’s time politicians start putting hardworking Iowans first again.”

Miller said as a member of the school board, that he knows firsthand how decisions in Des Moines can impact the community. And that he would work to make public schools a top priority again.

Drish said she’s confident that Miller will be able to carry out Hanson’s legacy.

“When Curt would get done after the Democrat breakfasts every Friday, he would go and talk to Dr. Phil about education,” she said. “Curt must have thought enough of him to always tell him what was going on. There was a lot of communication between them. And Dr. Miller is so excited about this. He is really looking forward to serving.”

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