image-1Ken proudly served 27 years as an Air Force commander, fighter pilot, and non-profit senior leader.  Elected to the Iowa House in 2014, he serves as the District 68 Representative for Marion, Bertram, Ely, and the surrounding parts of Linn County.  In the Iowa House, Ken serves as Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee.  Additionally, he is a member of the Commerce, Judiciary, and Human Resources Committees as well as the Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee.

Ken flew the RF-4C, F-16, & UH-1 through 15 assignments in 25 years, including leading men and woman in combat during tours in Iraq. He commanded an F-16 figher squadron, an F-16 fighter group, and Andrews Air Force Base, the home of Air Force One. At Andrews, where he was responsible for 60,000 military personnel and their families around the world, he balanced a $252 million budget, opened DoD’s first combined charter school, ensured security for all senior U.S. and foreign officials, and procured a $30 million helicopter operations facility. His efforts resulted in Andrews being named the #1 Air Force-led Joint Base in the Department of Defense.

Following retirement from the Air Force, Ken served as the Senior Vice President of Operations for Goodwill of the Heartland, where he employed homeless veterans and people with disabilities.

Ken has deep Linn County roots going back to the 1920s and 30s, when his Great Aunt co-founded the Jane Boyd House, community theater, and worked with Grant Wood. He has four children, Andrew (24), Nicole (19), Anna (18), and Will (17).

Ken was a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, earning a B.S. in Foreign Affairs and recognition as the top graduate in Political Science.  He was a Barry Goldwater Scholar to Georgetown University’s Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems, during which he served as a U.S. House of Representatives intern.  Selected as an Olmsted Scholar, he learned Swedish at the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute prior to studying International Security at the University of Stockholm, Sweden.  He completed an M.S. with Highest Academic Distinction in Strategic Studies at Air University’s Air War College, as well as an MPA in Leadership, Politics, and National Security from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and an MBA from the University of Iowa.  Ken is a published author and speaker, military division-winning Ironman triathlete and RAGBRAI rider.

Click to view PDFs of Ken’s Rizer Military Evaluations and Rizer Major Military Medals.

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  1. Melissa Determan says:

    I’m writing because I see that you are still a no for the special session to restore school funding. I truly appreciate your years of service towards our country and I strongly urge you to look into this. I see that you still have 3 children in public schools and I have to think and believe you want the best education for them, just as I do. The one time funding would bring almost 1.9 million into Cedar Rapids and this is huge. I am so worried for my students and my own children who haven’t started school yet. What is to become of them in large class sizes or combination classrooms. I hope that you have a wonderful summer and please think of all of the Iowa children who are counting on you! Thank you.

    • Ken Rizer says:

      Melissa, thanks for the comment. I was disappointed in the education veto. I’m a realist, and saw that Senate Republicans signed a letter saying they wouldn’t support a special session. Based on that, we simply didn’t have the votes to override, so discussion of a special session was more about political posturing than actually solving the problem. I look forward to working hard this next session to ensure that our schools get the funding they need. Ken

  2. Jo Osing says:

    Rep Rizer
    I spoke with you today at Intersections re the ranking of Iowa schools nationwide. In 2014 we were ranked at 9 in one poll. By 2015 we were at 24th. I realize polls differ but suffice it to say we seem to be dropping fast!

    Also re the e poll proposal, it would seem to me that in this belt tightening time, as you called it, the e poll is a very unnessary expense. It takes seconds at my voting place to find my name in the large book. Please do not spend our money on e poll at this time when you are taking money away from so many necessary programs.

  3. Seth says:

    Thank-you for taking my call this morning on 600 WMT about correctional officers not being included in the scope of “public safety” in the newly proposed collective bargaining bill. I hope I was able to bring into perspective some of the issues that we face on a daily basis, and the people that we deal with.

  4. Nunya Binness says:

    This was your post on August 16, 2015:

    Ken Rizer
    August 16, 2015 at 1:18 pm · Reply
    Melissa, thanks for the comment. I was disappointed in the education veto. I’m a realist, and saw that Senate Republicans signed a letter saying they wouldn’t support a special session. Based on that, we simply didn’t have the votes to override, so discussion of a special session was more about political posturing than actually solving the problem. I look forward to working hard this next session to ensure that our schools get the funding they need. Ken

    If this session is any indication of your “working hard to ensure that our schools get the funding they need” than, in my opinion, you’re either a liar or an idiot . . . or possibly both.

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