Iowa Democratic Party3rd Congressional District
We look forward to our voters in the Third Congressional District getting to know our candidates as they formally announce their candidacies.
Lanon Baccam is a combat veteran, public servant and son of rural Iowa.
Following his service in the Army, Lanon used the GI bill to attend Drake University, and later served in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. There, he worked to support veterans, expand pathways to jobs in the agriculture industry and promote training and entrepreneurship opportunities for Veterans transitioning to careers in agriculture.
Most recently at the USDA, Lanon helped implement historic bipartisan investments, like expanding access to high-speed internet throughout rural America, leading to good-paying jobs and lower costs for American families.
In 1980, Lanon’s parents came to Iowa from Laos and worked at the Mackay Envelope factory. Lanon was born and raised in Mt. Pleasant, and at age 17, enlisted in the Iowa National Guard to give back to the state and country that gave him so much.
In the wake of 9/11, Lanon answered the call to serve his country. As an Iowa National Guardsman, Lanon was activated and deployed to Afghanistan in 2004 as a combat engineer, focusing on explosive demolitions and force protection in and around Kandahar.
Lanon is running for Congress because he believes all Iowans should have the opportunities afforded to him and his family: access to good-paying jobs, affordable health care, the ability to retire with dignity and protection of women’s reproductive freedoms. As a Veteran, public servant and father, Lanon will go to Washington to get things done for Iowans – regardless of party and background.
Melissa Vine is a single mother of four boys, a businesswoman, and current Director of a non-profit where she advocates for women coming out of trauma.
Ten years ago, she left an abusive marriage and nearly lost everything. Overnight, she went from a wealthy small business owner to having $0 to her name.
At that moment, she made a promise to herself and her four boys that she would rise up from rock bottom. She began checking groceries at HyVee, earning $8.50 an hour to provide for her family.
After finishing her master’s degree, Melissa started and sold two small businesses and worked as a mental health provider where she quickly realized helping Iowans one by one wasn’t enough; she wanted to change the system.
She joined The Beacon as its Executive Director to support women who are recovering from their own trauma. Now, Melissa is ready to bring her story and her skills to Washington DC to make changes where the systems are created.
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