Candidate Profile: Rick Giarusso

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Rick Giarusso, of Cedar Falls, is seeking his first term in the Iowa House.  He is running to represent House District 59 which includes Cedar Falls in Black Hawk County.

Rick grew up in Wisconsin and earned a Bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a Masters degree from Silver Lake College.  Rick enlisted in the Wisconsin Army National Guard where he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Army, and was employed full-time by the Wisconsin Army National Guard in the Army’s Active Guard-Reserve program.  During that time he met and married Deb Harris, of Cedar Falls, and had a son, Ryan.  The family moved to Iowa, deciding Cedar Falls was the best place to raise a family.

Rick worked for Cedar Falls Utilities and remained a reservist with the Wisconsin Army National Guard.  In 2002, Rick’s aviation unit was ordered to active duty and he was deployed to Kuwait and Iraq.  For his service during Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was awarded the Bronze Star and the US Army’s Air medal.  After his deployment ended, Rick returned to Iowa and retired from the Army at the rank of Major, one month shy of 23 years of service.

Rick continued his aviation career commercially flying helicopters and airplanes, and earning his Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified flight instructor certificates.  The FAA hired Rick as an Aviation Safety Inspector and Principal Operations Inspector.  Recently, at the request of the US Army Reserves, Rick came out of retirement and is currently serving as an Officer in the 103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command in Des Moines, where he is a Branch Chief in the unit’s Support Operations.  He completed the US Army’s Airborne School in February.

Rick’s wife, Deb, is an instructor at the University of Northern Iowa’s College of Business, where she has been teaching finance for the last 16 years.

Learn more about Rick and visit his website at

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Follow Rick on Twitter at @RickForIowa.