Learn more about Mary and her work as state representative for Iowa House District 81.
Mary Gaskill is serving her ninth term in the Iowa House. Mary is the ranking member on House Ethics Committee. She is also a member of the Economic Growth, Local Government, and Ways and Means committees, as well as the Economic Development Budget Subcommittee.
Mary grew up on a small family farm in Northwest Missouri. She is the daughter of Andrew and Lucile Meyer, and moved to Iowa in 1962 and has lived in Ottumwa since 1966.
After graduation from high school in 1959, Mary attended Business School at Gard University in St. Joseph, Missouri. In addition to her State Representative service Mary enjoys doing community volunteer work in Ottumwa. Previously, Mary completed twenty-two years of dedicated service to Wapello County, sixteen as County Auditor and six as clerk to the County Auditor.
Mary resides in Ottumwa. Mary is the widow of Jim, a retired Iowa State Trooper. Their four children all live in Iowa and she is the proud grandmother of seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Mary seeks to continue to be interested in economic growth issues that will improve the state as well as benefit hard working families of her district. She believes that farmers and small business owners are the backbone of Iowa’s economy and, therefore, advocates that we do all we can to enable them to prosper. Mary is a member of the Rural Caucus and is working to enhance the opportunities in rural Iowa. Moreover, she feels that her experience growing up, working on a farm, provides her with a firm understanding of agricultural issues and her husband previously was a small business owner.
Mary is concerned about the future of our schools. Education from preschool to graduate school must remain a priority. She is worked on Governor Branstad’s Future Ready Iowa Alliance. She also served on Governor Reynold's Future Ready Iowa initiative. We are opening up access to quality preschool to all children, helping keep good teachers in the classrooms and improving discipline in our schools. We must continue these efforts, and improve upon them.
Iowans are also worried about healthcare. Mary is continuing to work to see that all Iowans, especially children have access to healthcare. We need to train students and workers for the jobs of the future so that we can attract new business to our state. And we must preserve our natural resources and provide a clean environment to live in, especially water and air.
She likes being able to help constituents with problem solving and is looking forward to a tenth term at the State House at the State House. Mary has a lot of political experience, having run for State Representative nine times and four campaigns for County Auditor. In addition, she has served on the County/City Jail Planning Committee, worked on the Local Option Sales Tax Committee, actively participated in Planning Meetings for the City of Ottumwa, is currently serving on the International Video Game Hall of Fame & Museum Board, and is a past chair of the Wapello County Democrats.
Over the years, Mary has been extremely active in her community. In 2001, she received a Volunteer Award from Governor Vilsack for her work on the Foster Care Review Board. She is currently a member of the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters, Toastmaster International, Catholic Daughter of America, the Ottumwa Noon Lions Club and St. Mary of the Visitation Church. Mary also serves on the Iowa Commission on Aging, and the Iowa Finance Authority.
Mary continues to focus on serving her community by supporting legislation that will improve Iowa to make it a great place to live.