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Richard Clewell

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Richard Clewell
Richard Clewell.JPG
Board member, Davenport Community School District, At-large
Term ends
Years in position 14
Elections and appointments
Last electionSeptember 10, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sIowa State University
ReligionDavenport Unitarian Church
Office website
Richard Clewell is an at-large member of the Davenport Community School District School Board. He was a Democratic candidate for District 41 of the Iowa State Senate. The primary election was on June 8, 2010 and the general election was on November 2, 2010. Clewell campaigned to address the impacts of poverty on local students through collaborations with local and state agencies during his successful re-election bid in September 2013. He first won election to the board in 2001.


Clewell is a retired Department of Defense official, Vietnam Era veteran, and retired wildlife biologist. He earned his Bachelor's degree from Iowa State University. He has two children who graduated from schools in the Davenport Community School District.[1]



See also: Davenport Community School District elections (2013)


Clewell placed first among five candidates in his re-election bid on September 10, 2013.[2]


Davenport Community School District, At-large General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngRichard Clewell Incumbent 21.7% 1,274
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJamie Snyder 20.3% 1,190
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMaria Dickmann 19.6% 1,147
     Nonpartisan Patt Zamora Incumbent 18.9% 1,109
     Nonpartisan Elaine Kresse 18.2% 1,070
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 1.3% 77
Total Votes 5,867
Source: Scott County, Iowa, "Election Summary Report," September 13, 2013


See also: Iowa State Senate elections, 2010

Clewell lost to Republican candidate Roby Smith by a margin of 13,865 to 9,432 in the November 2 general election.[3]

In the June 8 primary election, Clewell beat Dave Thede by a margin of 596 to 479.[4]

Iowa State Senate, District 41 - Democratic Primary (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Richard Clewell 596 55.4%
Dave Thede 479 44.6%


On September 8 2009, Clewell defeated three challengers for a seat on the Davenport Community School District School Board.

Davenport Community School District Board of Education, At-large General Election, 2011, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngRichard A. Clewell 18.6% 885
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngPatt Zamora 18.5% 883
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLarry L. Roberson 18.5% 882
     Nonpartisan Karen Boyd 18.4% 877
     Nonpartisan Jon Rasler 15.5% 740
     Nonpartisan Deborah Whan Dierkes 10.4% 494
Total Votes 4,761
Source: Scott County

Campaign themes



"Poverty: Fully 62% of the District’s students qualify for either Free or Reduced Fee lunches. The impact of poverty on our students is far reaching and compromises the efforts of even our best teachers to provide the quality of education our kids deserve. While the ability to deal directly with poverty is beyond the ability of public schools, we work hard every day to minimize impacts by providing parenting classes, family support liaisons, before and after school wrap-around programs, and high quality pre-school education programs. Our collaborative efforts with agencies like the YMCA, Vera French, and LULAC Council are bringing the community together to help families and students overcome the barriers poverty places in their paths to quality education."

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.


On his campaign website, Clewell states economic recovery and sustainability as his main priority if elected.[5]

  • Job Creation - "...we need to deal with a projected shortage of skilled labor. Our trade unions, community colleges, and high schools are vital in making these skills available."
  • Education- " If we want Iowa to have a strong and vibrant economy, we must make Iowa the destination for education."
  • Healthcare - "The fact that 1 in 11 Iowans does not have health care insurance is a clear indication that the system is not working. We cannot wait for Washington to do what we must do now for our most vulnerable citizens..."
  • Fiscal Accountability - "I believe...that both spending and revenues must be considered to achieve a balanced budget. The governors tax credit panel which did a cost-benefit analysis on how our tax dollars are being used to stimulate business growth is on the right track and we need to pursue this level of focus more broadly."

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What was at stake?

Three seats on the board were up for election on September 10, 2013. The board continues to deal with declining enrollment figures across the district as well as poor performances according to state and federal assessment programs. Davenport Community School District has experienced a 5.2% decline in enrollment between 2008 and 2012.[6] The district was identified as a District in Need of Assistance and 20 schools qualified as Schools in Need of Assistance according to the 2012 State Report Card.[7]

About the district

See also: Davenport Community School District, Iowa
Davenport is located in Scott County, Iowa
Davenport is the county seat of Scott County and rests along the banks of the Mississippi River in eastern Iowa. The city's population is 99,685 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[8]


Davenport outperforms the rest of Iowa in terms of higher education achievement though lags behind on median income and poverty rate. The 2010 U.S. Census found that 25.9% of Davenport residents over 25 years old held undergraduate degrees compared to a 24.9% rate for the entire state. Davenport had a median income of $42,983 in 2010 compared to $50,451 for Iowa. The poverty rate for Davenport was 17.6% in 2010 compared to an 11.9% rate for the rest of the state.[8]

Racial Demographics, 2012[8]
Race Davenport (%) Iowa (%)
White 80.7 91.3
Black or African American 10.8 2.9
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.4 0.4
Asian 2.2 1.7
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander - 0.1
Two or More Races 3.9 1.8
Hispanic or Latino 7.3 5.0

Presidential Voting Pattern[9]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 56.1 42.4
2008 56.6 42.1
2004 50.9 48.3
2000 50.0 47.2

See also

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