Secretary of State Patty Judge, a Democrat, will make an “announcement about her political future” later this (Wednesday) morning. Aides to Secretary Judge will not confirm that she’s ready to launch a campaign for governor, but Judge herself sounded pretty gung ho in early June during a speech in Nevada. “I’m in, and I believe it’s time for an aggressive, bold agenda led by a grandma,” Judge said.”Convention wisdom is that a woman cannot get elected in Iowa to higher office,” Judge said. “It’s just never been done.” Iowa and Mississippi are the only two states in the union that have not elected a woman to congress or the governorship. “I’ve done a lot of things in Iowa that have never been done and most of them I’m willing to talk about in front of my children,” she said. “Life’s been pretty good to me.” Judge and her husband, John — a high school classmate, have been married for 35 years. “We survived a couple of tours of duty in Vietnam and then we chose to return to the family farm in 1970 because we thought that was the best opportunity we had to give our children the kind of growing-up experiences we had and that we’d enjoyed,” Judge said. “Along the way I’ve been a registered nurse, a cowgirl, a real estate broker, an appraiser, a mediator, a state senator and now a Secretary of Agriculture.” Judge said it was the Farm Crisis of the 1980s that propelled her into politics. “My friends and neighbors — many, many of them left the farm forever. Many of them, in fact, left the state and I made the decision right then and there that never again would our government enact policies that would have such a horrible effect on the people I love without me speaking up and trying, at least, to affect what’s going on,” Judge says. Judge was elected to the state Senate in 1992 and was elected state Ag Secretary in 1998. She was reelected in 2002. Judge will make a statement today at 11 o’clock in Des Moines, then she’ll travel to her hometown of Albia to meet with family and friends there. Telephone calls to the new “Iowans for Judge” office in Des Moines were not returned because reporters were unable to reach anyone or leave a message. “The person who you called has a voice mailbox that has not been set up yet,” according to the recorded message.
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