Rep. Wendt, who is 76, almost always flashes his humble, friendly smile when you walk past him at the statehouse. I don't know that I've ever heard anyone say anything bad about him. House Democrats released this statement on behalf of Rep. Wendt:
"It’s been a great honor serving the people of Sioux City in the Iowa House of Representatives. As chair of the House Education Committee, I’m deeply proud of my record improving education for Iowa children and equalizing school funding for districts like Sioux City, which helps both property taxpayers and our schools.
Due to a serious medical condition and the recommendation of my doctor, I will not be returning to the Iowa House for the remainder of the 2010 session nor will I seek re-election as State Representative later this year."
West Des Moines Republican Senator Pat Ward, Ocheyedan Republican Senator David Johnson and Newton Representative Paul Bell are all also battling cancer.
Coincidentally, Tuesday morning Governor Chet Culver signs HB 2075, which forces insurance companies to cover some cancer clinical trials.