Ken Rizer

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Ken Rizer
Member of the Iowa House of Representatives
from the 68th district
Assumed office
January 12, 2015
Preceded by Daniel Lundby
Personal details
Born (1964-09-17) September 17, 1964 (age 54)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater United States Air Force Academy, Air War College, Harvard University, University of Iowa
Occupation Professor, University of Dubuque

Ken Rizer (born September 17, 1964) is an American politician. A Republican, he has served the 68th District in the Iowa House of Representatives since 2015. Rizer is a retired colonel in the United States Air Force and currently an assistant professor of aviation at the University of Dubuque.

Beginning January 2017, Rizer serves on four committees in the Iowa House – Judiciary, Public Safety, Ways & Means, and as the chair of State Government.[1]

Early life[edit]

Rizer was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He graduated from Southwest High School in Minneapolis.[citation needed] Rizer attended the United States Air Force Academy, where he received a B.S. in Foreign Affairs and Political Science and was accepted into the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship program. As a junior officer in the United States military, Rizer was admitted to The Olmsted Scholar Program, where he studied Swedish at the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute before spending two years at Stockholm University in Sweden studying International Security.[2] He received his masters in Strategic Studies at Air University’s Air War College, an MPA in Leadership, Politics, and National Security from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and an MBA from the University of Iowa.[3]

Military career[edit]

Rizer served 25 years as an Air Force fighter pilot and commander, completing 15 assignments and leading men and women in combat during tours in Iraq.[4] He led Joint Base Andrews, the home of Air Force One, as Base Commander.[5]

Civilian career[edit]

After retiring from the military in 2012, Rizer became the Senior Vice President of Operations for Goodwill Industries Goodwill of the Heartland.[6] He currently holds a position as an assistant professor of aviation at the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, IA.[7]

Electoral history[edit]

* = incumbent

Election Political result Candidate Party Votes %
Iowa House of Representatives elections, 2014 [8]
District 68
Turnout: 13,450
Republican gain from DemocraticKen RizerRepublican6,98953.1
Daniel Lundby* Democratic6,17146.9
Iowa House of Representatives elections, 2016 [9]
District 68
Turnout: 18,038
Republican hold Ken Rizer*Republican9,31751.65
Molly Donahue Democratic7,92143.91


  1. ^ "2017-Committees-by-member" (PDF). Iowa House Republicans. Republican Party of Iowa. Retrieved 18 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "Additional Testimonials". The Olmsted Foundation. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "Featured Alumnus: State Representative Ken Rizer". The Fund for American Studies. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "Ken Rizer". Iowa House Republicans. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Retiring commander reflects on career, family, faith". Air Force District of Washington. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  6. ^ "Ken Rizer running for House District 68". Marion Times. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  7. ^ "Aviation Faculty and Staff". University of Dubuque. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  8. ^ "2014 General Election Canvass Summary" (PDF). Iowa Secretary of State. 
  9. ^ "2016 General Election Canvas Summary" (PDF). Iowa Secretary of State. Retrieved 15 January 2017.