Allen Burt feels the timing is right for a run at the Iowa House, and is hoping to be elected to represent the area this fall.
The 49-year-old farmer from rural Marshalltown announced his Republican candidacy for District 71 Friday in hopes to unseat the incumbent, Democrat Mark Smith.
"I just feel that the current direction that we're running just isn't where we want to go," Burt said. "I just felt really good about being able to represent voters in our district."
District 71 includes Marshalltown and northern Marshall County including Liscomb, Albion and Green Mountain.
Burt said his main focus would be on a few key areas - to hold the line on taxes, provide quality education and create business and job growth.
"We need to create a structure that makes businesses want to come here," he said.
He said the area missed a great opportunity by not landing the new Alliant Energy power plant two years ago.
"It slipped through our fingers and I'm still disappointed with that," Burt said.
Burt served on the GMG School Board for 12 years and has been active in several farming organizations including the Marshall County Farm Bureau.
He said the work ethic he gained on the family farm will help him as he looks to gain the House seat.
"I'm a farmer and I'm used to long hours and hard work," Burt said. "I expect a very hard campaign."
Burt is a father of four with his wife of 26 years, Dee. The couple lives in the farm home he grew up in north of Marshalltown. No other Republican has announced a bid for the House seat, but if there is one announced Burt will run for the Republican bid in a June 5 primary.
Smith, who will be shooting to be elected to his seventh two-year term in the Iowa House this fall, said he had heard of Burt's possible announcement a couple of weeks ago and expected to have to campaign this fall.
"I'll take my message to the voters as I've always done," Smith said.