Congressman Jim Nussle Wednesday morning officially starts his campaign to win another title — governor. Nussle’s gubernatorial campaign kick-off comes a year before the Republican party primary and 17 months before the November, 2006 general election. “People are starting to ask the question ‘Where is Iowa going in the next number of years?’ and they want to hear from their leaders what direction we want to take them in,” Nussle said during a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon with Radio Iowa.Nussle said he wants to be governor because he has a vision for the future of Iowa. Nussle suggested tax reform, especially simplification of the tax system, would be a top priority if he’s elected governor, along with improvements in the state’s education system. “We’ve got be very serious about recognizing that our state and living here and working here, going to school here, retiring here — it’s a choice, and if we’re not the best choice that a person can make at the time they’re making those kind of decisions, they’re going to choose to go someplace else,” Nussle said. Nussle was elected Delaware County Attorney in 1986, then elected to the U-S House of Representatives in 1990, where he’s risen to gain the title of chairman of the House Budget Committee. Nussle said he chose a career in politics after watching how former northeast Iowa Congressman Tom Tauke worked. “I first met (Tauke) up at Luther College when I was a college student and I was exposed to seeing the good that can come from politics and public service and serving other people, and it was probably that the inspired me more than anything else,” Nussle said. Nussle ran for Tauke’s seat in Congress when Tauke, a Republican, ran for the U-S Senate in 1990. Nussle won. Tauke lost to Senator Tom Harkin. Secretary of State Chet Culver, a democratic candidate for governor, also plans a news conference today (Wednesday) on voting proceedures. Yesterday (Tuesday), Culver’s campaign issued a news release saying one of the democratic party’s biggest donors — Des Moines real estate developer Bill Knapp — would be a co-chair of his gubernatorial campaign. Nussle will speak in his hometown of Manchester Wednesday morning before embarking on a seven-day tour of Iowa cities to formally kick-off his campaign for governor. He’ll speak at the Delaware County Courthouse early Wednesday morning, then make stops in Dubuque, Des Moines, Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Davenport and Cedar Rapids. On Thursday, he’ll be in Muscatine, Ottumwa, Pella, Mason City, Waterloo, Fort Dodge and Ames. On Friday, he’ll visit LeMars, Orange City, Sioux Center, Sheldon, Spencer and Storm Lake. There is already one announced Republican candidate for governor. Bob Vander Plaats ran for governor in 2002 and said this past February that he would run again for the Republican party’s gubernatorial nomination.
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