Governor Tom Vilsack will not endorse one of the Democrats who’s running to be the next governor until after the primary decides who his party nominee will be, but this (Monday) morning Vilsack endorsed a Democrat who’s running to be the next Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack says his former aide, Dusky Terry, is a “new generation leader.”
“He will bring passion to this race. He will bring a quiet confidence about the future of this state,” Vilsack said during a statehouse news conference. “I don’t know of any person in the state of Iowa who is more qualified than Dusky Terry.”
Terry formally kicked off his campaign this weekend in his hometown. Terry grew up on a diary farm near Greenfield. His father was Dixon Terry, a farm leader during the Farm Crisis of the 1980s. “It was my father that taught me that hard work leads to opportunity,” Terry says. For the past six-and-a-half years, Terry has worked as a policy point-man for Vilsack.
About three months ago, Terry left the governor’s office to run for ag secretary. “I did so because I believe Iowans deserve a new generation of leadership with fresh ideas and the energy necessary to create economic opportunity in both urban and rural parts of our state,” Terry says.
Governor Vilsack rejects the idea he pressured another candidate, current deputy Ag Secretary Brent Halling, to end his bid for the agency’s top job. Vilsack says he never talked to Halling about the race, and never instructed anyone to talk to Halling about ending his candidacy.
Vilsack says he’s spent nearly every day of the past six years with Terry by his side. “He is as close to me as my two sons and if people have a problem with that, so be it,” Vilsack says. The governor says no one cares more deeply about farmers than Terry does. One other candidate, Denise O’Brien, remains in the race contesting for the Democratic party’s nomination for state Ag Secretary.