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Merlin E. Bartz

Bartz (center rear) on Earth Day 2005

Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 6th district
Assumed office 
January 12, 2009
Preceded by E. Thurman Gaskill

Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 10th district
In office
January 11, 1993 – February 11, 2002[1]
Preceded by Alvin Miller
Succeeded by Amanda Ragan

Member of the Iowa House of Representatives
from the 19th district
In office
January 14, 1991 – January 11, 1993
Preceded by Dennis May
Succeeded by Gary Blodgett

Born March 16, 1961 (1961-03-16) (age 48)
Mason City, Iowa
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lisa Jorgensen
Children stepdaughter: Kimberly
Will, Marena
Residence Grafton, Iowa
Alma mater Luther College
Occupation Farmer
Religion Lutheran
Website Bartz's website

Merlin Bartz is the Iowa State Senator from the 6th District, elected in 2008. A Republican, he sits on the Appropriations, Human Resources, Natural Resources, and Ways and Means committees. He is the ranking member on the Administration and Regulation Appropriations Subcommittee.[5]

Previously he served in the Iowa House of Representatives (19th District, 1991 – 1993), and the Iowa Senate (10th District, 1993 – 2002). He was Senate Assistant Majority Leader in the 77th, 78th, and 79th General Assemblies.[2][6] Bartz was appointed (January, 2002) Special Assistant to the Undersecretary, Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.. He is a sixth generation Iowa farmer.[7] From July, 2004, he was Regional Assistant Chief, Central, for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). He was a management representative of the Chief, providing direction of NRCS programs and activities and overall leadership and supervision to state conservationists in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. [8] Bartz has a B.A. music and political science from Luther College.



Bartz has focused on issues of state government and reining in expenditures. Bartz launched a drive to gather petitions asking County Recorders to deny marriage licenses for same-sex marriages after Democrats thwarted efforts to launch a constitutional amendment in the Iowa General Assembly following the Iowa Supreme Court's 2009 ruling in Varnum v. Brien authorizing same-sex marriage in Iowa.[3][9]

Electoral History

Iowa Senate elections, 2008
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Merlin Bartz 14,268 49.26%
Democratic Doug Thompson 12,447 42.97%
Independent Kenneth J Abrams 2,232 7.71%


  1. ^ "Senate Journal: Monday, March 18, 2002". Journal of the Senate. Retrieved August 23, 2009.  
  2. ^ a b "Senator Merlin E. Bartz - Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2009-06-15.  
  3. ^ a b "Senator Merlin E. Bartz". Iowa Senate Republicans. Retrieved 2009-06-15.  
  4. ^ "Iowa Legislator - Representative Merlin Bartz". Retrieved 2009-06-15.  
  5. ^ "Iowa General Assembly - Merlin Bartz (R): 6". Retrieved 2009-06-15.  
  6. ^ "SR 149 ...honoring Senator Merlin E. Bartz. ...". Iowa Legislative Information System. April 10, 2002. Retrieved 2009-06-15.  
  7. ^ "Conservation Security Program Listening Session" (PDF Transcript of Proceedings). Madison, Wisconsin. February 26, 2004. pp. 3, 6. Retrieved 2009-06-15.  
  8. ^ "Wisconsin Academy : SW Forum". Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, & Letters. Retrieved 2009-06-15.  
  9. ^ Richardson, Valerie (April 28, 2009). "Maine, N.H. new gay marriage front - Legislative steps build confidence after other wins". The Washington Times (Washington, D.C.). Retrieved 2009-08-21. "[S]ame-sex couples were allowed to legally wed in Iowa after the state Supreme Court in early April ruled in favor of such marriages. ... [Bartz] launched a petition drive last week aimed at encouraging county recorders to reject marriage applications from same-sex couples until Iowans are able to vote on a same-sex marriage referendum. Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate have tried repeatedly to convince the General Assembly to place a traditional-marriage constitutional amendment on the ballot, but they've been stymied by the Democratic leadership. ... 'We've attempted four times on the floor of the Senate to bring up a constitutional amendment or at least deal with the court decision,' Mr. Bartz said. 'After all these efforts failed, you say, OK, the people of Iowa can't vote on this, they can't make their voices heard, so let's at least do a petition.'"  

External links

Iowa House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dennis May
19th District
January 14, 1991 – January 11, 1993
Succeeded by
Gary Blodgett
Iowa Senate
Preceded by
Alvin Miller
10th District
January 11, 1993 – February 11, 2002
Succeeded by
Amanda Ragan
Preceded by
E. Thurman Gaskill
6th District
January 12, 2009 – present
Succeeded by

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