OTTUMWA— Dreams do come true. Ask Ottumwa High School senior, Bailey Veatch, who was recently selected to serve as a page in the Iowa House during the upcoming legislative session.
Veatch has always been interested in government and politics. He currently co-chairs the Iowa Republican Youth Committee. His involvement led to asking Senator Mark Chelgren how to apply. He interviewed for both the House and Senate page positions and was happy to be selected for the House. It’s a paid, full-time position with only 50 high school juniors and seniors selected. On the weekends, he’ll come back to Ottumwa to work for his uncle’s restaurant, Bubba Q’s.
Last week he was also asked to sit on the Ottumwa Courier’s editorial board. “I’m interested in politics on any level,” he said. He interviewed local candidates as part of his seat on the editorial board. “I think we have a good amount of people running,” he said. “A lot of people care for our city.”
By Christmas, he will have earned most of his credits towards high school graduation. He plans to attend IHCC after graduation, then transfer to Drake to pursue a degree in law.
His duties as a page will assisting with the switchboard, delivering messages, running errands, and distributing bills and amendments. Pages also staff committee meetings and help the chairperson by handling materials needed during the meetings. “House pages do a lot,” Veatch said. His English teacher, Mrs. Carpenter, was a page in high school. He got a lot of encouragement from her as well as other teachers and his parents.
With connections to the Republican party, he hopes to find a host family in Des Moines. He will need to live in Des Moines during the week throughout the legislative session.
He is also an entrepreneur, roasting and selling his “Bulldog Blend” coffee to teachers, friends, and family. He also mows lawns. “I have my own business cards,” he said. Relatives, including his grandfather and uncle, are entrepreneurs. “I have seen first-hand where hard work gets you,” Veatch said.
“My parents act like this is a huge deal but I’m just having fun,” he said.
He hopes to someday throw his own hat into the ring and run for office. “I’d also like to be considered for city boards,” he said. “I met O’Bama when I was 10-years-old and it made a huge impact,” he said.