Congressional candidate Rod Blum visited Marshalltown Friday on the campaign trail toward the June 2014 primary.
Blum, a Republican businessman from Dubuque, is taking a second run at the 1st Congressional seat held by Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa. Braley is running for U.S. Senate, which makes this open congressional seat attractive to both political parties.
Blum visited the Marshall County Pachyderm Club luncheon Friday and said his previous campaign experience is a big help this time around.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Congressional candidate Rod Blum, of Dubuque, greets diners at Cecil’s Cafe Friday during the Marshall County Pachyderm Club luncheon.
"I feel like we are starting on second base, and last time I didn't even know where the ball field was," Blum said.
Blum also talked with business owners downtown and said he is hearing the economy is the No. 1 issue with people.
"I think we are headed in the wrong direction in so many ways," Blum said. "Whether it's (government) spending or the mountain of debt."
He said he is also concerned about, what he calls, a weak economic recovery. He believes in limited government.
"We need to restore personal responsibility," Blum said.
Blum cites his love for his country and "a calling" as his reason to run for the U.S. House.
He was defeated by Ben Lange in the primary in 2012. Lange eventually lost to the incumbent, Braley.
Blum won Marshall County over Lange in the primary.
"I think we have great grassroots here in Marshall County," he said.
Blum feels his lack of political experience is in his favor in this race.
"I actually think it is an advantage," Blum said "People are sick of the status quo. They are sick of career politicians."
Other announced candidates for the 1st Congressional seat include Rep. Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque, for the Democrats and Cedar Rapids businessman Steve Rathje and Waterloo resident Jason Welch for the Republicans.