One of the quiet partisan battles of the June 4th primary election is the G-O-P match-up in Iowa’s new fourth congressional district. As a former Air Force pilot and reserve officer in the National Guard, 52-year-old Gail Boliver, a Marshalltown attorney, would seem to have the credentials that’re attractive to the Republican Party, but he has one big strike against him. He’s running against republican Congressman Tom Latham of Alexander, and primary challenges of incumbents are frowned upon in the G-O-P. The Iowa Republican Party won’t even list Boliver on its website. Boliver says his party’s making a mistake. Boliver says it’s just like the gubernatorial campaign of 1998, when the republican establishment backed former Congressman Jim Ross Lightfoot for Governor as he was well known, and Lightfoot ended up losing to Tom Vilsack. The new Fourth Congressional District stretches from northeast Iowa to Ames, then it bypasses Des Moines and dips down to include Indianola and Winterset. Latham, who currently represents the old western Iowa Congressional district, says he’s familiar with the new territory. He says it’s a natural district for him as he worked in the area for years in his family’s business.But Boliver says the new Fourth District is much more moderate than the oneLatham now represents, and Boliver says he’s a better match for the voters. He says we should look at alternative energy sources instead of drilling in Alaska. Boliver says he supported the “Patient’s Bill of Rights.”Latham, who’s 53 years old, says he wants to return to Congress to wrap up unfinished business.Latham, who helps run the family seed business, is also on a special task force that’s developing a prescription drug benefit for seniors and he says it’s important to him to get the new benefit added to Medicare. John Norris, the democrat in the Fourth district, doesn’t have an opponent in the June 4th primary.
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