A former eastern Iowa congressman who now heads the Iowa Department of Economic Development is still mulling the idea of running for governor in 2006. D-E-D director Michael Blouin says his “concentration and focus right now” is on getting the Iowa Values Fund reinstated. That’s the state economic development program which handed out big grants to businesses like Wells Fargo, but was nullified by a Supreme Court decision this summer. “I’m deferring any kind of a decision or even a major thought process until this summer,” Blouin says. Blouin is a democrat who said last year he would not run if Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson sought her party’s gubernatorial nomination. Pederson has decided not to run, and Blouin says he’s a bit surprised people keep asking him about running himself. “I’ve been a has-been since the ’70s,” Blouin says of his exit from politics, and he says he’s flattered by the consideration. But he’s not ready to commit to a run, or say he’s not running. “At this point, I really need to focus on what I was hired to do,” Blouin says. Blouin worked as a leader of Chambers of Commerce in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines before being named director of the state’s economic development efforts. “I didn’t get into this for a political future,” Blouin says. “I got into it because the governor asked me to spend a few years trying to turn the economy around in Iowa and that’s really where I’m focused right now,” Blouin says. Blouin made his comments on Iowa Public Television.
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