Mark Jacobs hopes to use his business background to help create jobs and spur economic growth in Iowa.
The Republican U.S. Senate candidate from West Des Moines stopped in Marshalltown Monday as part of swing through the state. Jacobs is the former CEO of Reliant Energy in Houston and moved back to Iowa 18 months ago.
"I think the core problem we have is the lack of good jobs," Jacobs said.
He said he would tackle the jobs crisis in five different ways - improving education, improving energy production, cutting down on regulations for business, reforming taxes and providing more affordable healthcare (without Obamacare).
Jacobs feels education is a big issue that needs to be addressed.
"I'm been very passionate about public education for a long time," Jacobs said. "It's how we break the cycle of poverty."
He also believes in the increased effort to train for a skilled workforce, citing welder jobs that go unfilled as an example.
"In some cases the jobs are there, it's a skills gap issue," Jacobs said.
There are six other announced Republican candidates for U.S. Senate for the June primary trying to nab the open seat after the retirement of Sen. Tom-Harkin, D-Iowa. U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, is the likely candidate from the Democratic side. Jacobs said his skills of building relationships set him apart from the other candidates. He also feels there is too much bickering and partisanship in Washington, D.C.
"It comes down to leadership and experience," he said.