Thursday, January 5, 2017

Former DNR Head Rich Leopold Launches Democratic Candidacy for Iowa Governor in 2018

Former DNR head Rich Leopold announced yesterday that he is launching his candidacy to become the governor of Iowa in 2018. Leopold describes himself as a conservative Democrat and he has a lot of good things to say:
In my experience working with Iowans, I’ve learned we want leaders who are clear in their beliefs but open about taking in new information that may change their minds. There has never been a moment in which fact-based, truthful leadership is more crucial. 
My focus as an executive on being candid, transparent, and fair, is both desperately needed and largely absent in today’s government. I don’t hold back my opinions and beliefs; I say what I mean and mean what I say. I believe Iowans deserve a government with backbone and character and I will work every day to provide it. Now, we all want great public education, roads and bridges, police and fire protection, clean air and water, a thriving economy, a productive ag, and competent and affordable medical care. Iowans are willing to pay for these things as long as we get what we pay for. State government, must be efficient, effective, and show results.
One of my biggest complaints about the Democratic Party in Iowa is that they have virtually given up on our rural counties -- and Iowa pretty much consists of rural counties. We don't run Democratic candidates in these counties. We don't go to these counties. And we don't do a good job of building relationships in these counties.

In his campaign launch video, Leopold specifically addresses this issue: "We hear a lot about rural Iowa being open for business. Is rural Iowa really open for business when there's thousands of people who have to actually leave their communities to get a good-paying job? Is rural Iowa open for business when it's harder and harder to send your kids to college because of low wages? What about attracting a workforce? So we want all these people to move to Iowa and help us when we have some of the filthiest water in the country. Now we all want the things that tax dollars pay for, right? We want a good education system. We want a clean environment. We want good roads and bridges. Thriving economy. Productive ag sector. And I believe as Iowans we are willing to pay for it if we get what we pay for, but we want our government to be effective, efficient, and results-driven."

Rich Leopold is the first Democrat to launch his gubernatorial campaign and I'm sure that he won't be the last. I'm definitely liking what I'm hearing already and would gladly cast my vote for him. But lots can happen during the next two years.

Check out his campaign video when you get the chance.

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