While nearly all of the attention in Iowa’s 2006 race for governor is on those who want the top job in state government, there’s another competition among those who want to be number two. Since 1990, the state’s gubernatorial candidates have chosen a Lieutenant Governor runningmate just as presidential candidates choose a V.P. runningmate. State Senator Jeff Angelo of Creston is one Republican who has already expressed an interest in that second-slot on the G-O-P side. “Sure, I’d have an interest in that,” Angelo says. “If I would be considered for that position that would be an honor for me and certainly I’d think about it.” It’s clear that Angelo has already thought about the idea of being Jim Nussle’s runningmate. Angelo says he’s from an “exclusively rural” senate district, and having a rural legislator on the G-O-P ticket would send a strong message that rural issues are important. In addition, Angelo says he’d provide “perspective and some balance” because he’s from western Iowa and Nussle’s from eastern Iowa. Angelo has been chairman of the state Senate committee that writes the state budget just as Nussle has been chairman of the U.S. House committee that writes the federal budget. But candidates choose their runningmates for a variety of reasons. Ever since Iowa’s constitution was changed and gubernatorial candidates began picking their runningmates, Democrats and Republicans have only nominated women to that second place on the ticket. And in 1998, Democrat Tom Vilsack chose as his runningmate Sally Pederson, a woman who had never held political office before.
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