A Des Moines legislator has become the first candidate to officially declare he’s running for governor. Representative Ed Fallon, a Democrat from Des Moines, has served in the Iowa House for a little over 12 years, and on Saturday he made his aspirations for higher office official. Fallon said election reform is a top priority. He also promised to develop his own health care reform plan and to enact tougher measures to restrict urban sprawl. Fallon will refuse all contributions from Political Action Committees — PACs — and from lobbyists. He will also limit donations from individuals to 50 dollars per individual per month. Fallon lists reform of the election system as his number one goal, to limit the influence of what he calls “powerful, entrenched” special interest groups. “I’m running for governor because I’m tired of seeing a handfull of big corporations and wealthy, special interests get tax breaks and hand-outs while the issues important to you and me are neglected,” Fallon said. “It’s time for rank-and-file Iowans to have our concerns addressed, concerns about clean elections, about education, health care, decent jobs, livable wages, agriculture, the environment and a tax structure that is fair and progressive — and that’s the short list.” Fallon promised to be a voice for all Iowans, including new Iowans and he made a special pitch. Twice during his speech, Fallon spoke in Spanish to say he’s seeking a “united Iowa.” Fallon said he’ll release his health care reform ideas later this year. “I’m tired of waiting for the federal government,” Fallon said. “The bottom line is this: our commonwealth depends on our common health.” Fallon has long sought ways to limit “urban sprawl” and Fallon promises that if he’s elected governor, he’ll try to enact land use restrictions to ensure prime farmland isn’t covered by concrete. Fallon held a rally in the statehouse to kick-off his campaign, and about four-hundred supporters were there, including Carter Woodruff of Des Moines, one of Fallon’s friends who spoke to the crowd. Woodruff said Fallon is different from other politicians because he isn’t “bought and paid for by rich, special interests” but speaks his own mind. Woodruff praised Fallon for endorsing Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader in 2000 rather than Al Gore, the nominee of Fallon’s own Democratic party. Mark Johns of Davenport, a member of the musicians union in the Quad Cities, described himself as a conservative Republican who’ll be backing Fallon’s campaign. “The one thing that has impressed me about Ed is he’s a man of his word,” Johns said. Johns urged Fallon to heed the advice of the Larry, the cable guy and “get ‘er done.” Fallon is a musician and he invited two bands to perform at the Saturday afternoon events, including “The Good Times Band” in which Johns plays.
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