The owner of the Machine Shed restaurant chain is mulling a bid for Congress. Mike Whalen of Bettendorf has filed the paperwork that’s necessary to begin accepting campaign donations for a race to win the congressional seat now held by Jim Nussle. “It seems like Mr. Nussle is on the verge of running for governor…and with that obviously the first district seat opens up and I’m interested in pursuing that,” Whalen says. Whalen, who is 50, would run on the G-O-P ticket. “I’m solidly republican,” he says. “There isn’t any question about that.” Whalen was among those mentioned as a potential candidate for governor, but he has decided federal office is more appealing. Whalen says most of his policy interests are at the national level, and having Nussle run for governor presents an opening. Whalen says too often the members of Congress fail to tackle important issues, like Social Security reform, tax simplification, tort reform and health care reform. “These are all issues that need to move ahead to keep the country moving ahead,” Whalen says. Whalen was born in Davenport and is the C-E-O and founder of “Heart of America Restaurants and Inns” with restaurants in Davenport, Des Moines and five other Midwestern cities. Whalen graduated from Harvard Law School, with honors. He and his wife, Kim, have two kids.
You are here: / / Businessman considering a run for Congress