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“Hardest Decision,” Interview with State Senator and Cedar Falls Firefighter Jeff Danielson on resigning

WATERLOO, Iowa – An eastern Iowa lawmaker, who is also a longtime member of the Cedar Falls Fire Department, is stepping down.

State Senator Jeff Danielson says he’s moving on, while standing in solidarity with his longtime fellow firefighters.

Danielson was a four-term Democratic senator in the Iowa legislature and he served on the Cedar Falls Fire Department for more than 20 years, until his resignation last night. Danielson represented District 30, which covers Waterloo, Cedar Falls, and Hudson.

“Words will not express my thanks well enough, but I want to say thank you,” Danielson says. “It’s the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make.”

KWWL asked if this decision is related to the ongoing dispute over Cedar Falls police officers being cross-trained to also work as Cedar Falls firefighters.

“The answer is yes. I believe in public service. I believe in the work that firefighters do, and they should be able to do it,” Danielson says.”My hope is that there are challengers who emerge this year, in the community, with a message of a citizens-first agenda.”

KWWL did reach out to Public Safety Director Jeff Olson. He was responding to a fire and referred KWWL to the mayor. Mayor Brown says he certainly wishes Danielson well.

The former senator is leaving in the middle of the legislative session. He says, “When the session is in, and there’s a vacancy, there’s a quicker timeline, so for the Cedar Valley, you should probably prepare yourself. In the next month or two, you will be asked to pick a new leader.”

Governor Kim Reynolds will now have to set a date for a special election to fill Danielson’s senate seat. State law says that will happen in the next five days.

Meanwhile, Danielson says he is closing two wonderful chapters and opening another one. He will be staying in the Cedar Valley. His new job allows him to physically stay in this community. We will be announcing Danielson’s new job as soon as we can.




Amanda Gilbert

Multimedia Journalist

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