Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack formally kicked off his re-election bid yesterday with a tour of the state. Vilsack says there are “crystal clear” differences between himself and republican challenger Doug Gross, who secured the G-O-P nomination Tuesday.Vilsack says he had waited for the day he could verbally challenge Gross, who has touted his experience as Governor Terry Branstad’s chief of staff in the 1980s. Vilsack says during Gross’ tenure as chief of staff, taxes increased, state debt increased and state aid to public schools was cut.Vilsack says his administration, facing a tough financial time, has still cut taxes and increased funding for public schools in the past three and a half years. Vilsack says Gross says he’s from Defiance, but left the small town for the big city. Vilsack says Gross says he’s for family farmers, but Gross did legal work for those who would — in Vilsack’s words — “super size livestock confinements.” And Vilsack says Gross says he’s against gambling, but yet Gross worked for gambling interests and his family invested in gambling-related businesses. Vilsack’s seeking a second four-year term as Governor.
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