The Iowa Farm Bureau’s political action committee has designated the Republicans running for governor and state ag secretary, plus four of the Republicans running for congress in Iowa as “friends of agriculture.”

Neil Shaffer of Lime Springs, chairman of the Farm Bureau committee that made the decisions, says they chose Jim Nussle over Democrat Chet Culver in the governor’s race after reviewing the candidates’ promises, and meeting face-to-face with each man.

“We felt that Jim Nussle offered a very positive look to the future,” Shaffer says. “He’s very strong on his emphasis to make Iowa the ethanol capital of the country.” Nussle has called for passing a law that would require all gasoline pumped in Iowa to be an ethanol blend, something the Farm Bureau has opposed at the statehouse.

But Shaffer says it’s the total picture of the Nussle record that prompted the decision. “Jim Nussle has had a very high support level with Farm Bureau through the years as a congressman,” Shaffer says. The Farm Bureau PAC’s 1998 endorsement of Democrat Tom Vilsack was seen as one factor in his come-from-behind victory over former Republican Congressman Jim Ross Lightfoot in the governor’s race.

This year, the Farm Bureau PAC endorsed incumbent Republican congressmen Tom Latham and Steve King as well as Jeff Lamberti — the G-O-P candidate in the third congressional district and Mike Whalen — the G-O-P candidate in the first congressional district. The Farm Bureau did not endorse either major party candidate in the second congressional district, where incumbent Republican Jim Leach faces Democrat Dave Loebsack this November.

The Farm Bureau’s pick in the race for State Ag Secretary is Republican Bill Northey over Democrat Denise O’Brien. Shaffer says Northey has a “better understanding” of so-called “production” agriculture.
“He just understands that need that in Iowa we have to have responsible growth in both crops and livestock,” Shaffer says.

Shaffer says the nine-member committee he headed did talk about the lack of Democrats in their list of high-profile endorsements. “You know, the chips fall where they may and just it happens to be that those candidates of a particular party may receive more (endorsements from the Farm Bureau),” Shaffer says. “But if you look at the state legislative races there are several Democrats in contested race that we have also supported who have gone out of their way or done a special effort to help us in the past.”

The Farm Bureau PAC designated 14 candidates for the Iowa Senate and 72 candidates for the Iowa House as “Friends of Agriculture. The list of Farm Bureau endorsed candidates follows: Iowa Senate 3 – David Johnson, Ocheyedan; Iowa Senate 5 – Jim Kurtenbach, Nevada; Iowa Senate 9 – Tom Hoogestraat, Parkersburg; Iowa Senate 13 – Roger Stewart, Preston; Iowa Senate 17 – Wally Horn, Cedar Rapids; Iowa Senate 21 – Dennis Black, Grinnell; Iowa Senate 25 – Daryl Beall, Fort Dodge; Iowa Senate 27 – Ron Wieck, Sioux City; Iowa Senate 29 – Nancy Boettger, Harlan; Iowa Senate 37 – Julian Garrett, Indianola; Iowa Senate 43 – Joe Seng, Davenport; Iowa Senate 45 – David Miller, Batavia; Iowa Senate 47 – Keith Kreiman, Bloomfield; Iowa Senate 49 – Hubert Houser, Carson; Iowa House 3 – Chuck Soderberg, LeMars; Iowa House 4 – Dwayne Alons, Hull; Iowa House 5 – Royd Chambers, Sheldon; Iowa House 6 – Mike May, Spirit Lake; Iowa House 8 – Dolores Mertz, Ottosen; Iowa House 9 – George Eichhorn, Stratford; Iowa House 10 – Dave Deyoe, Nevada; Iowa House 11 – Henry Rayhons, Garner; Iowa House 12 – Linda Upmeyer, Garner; Iowa House 15 – Brian Quirk, New Hampton; Iowa House 16 – Chuck Gipp, Decorah; Iowa House 17 – Pat Grassley, New Hartford; Iowa House 18 – David Lalk, Westgate; Iowa House 19 – Matt Reisetter, Cedar Falls; Iowa House 20 – David Wieland, Cedar Falls; Iowa House 21 – Tami Wiencek, Waterloo; Iowa House 23 – Dan Rasmussen, Independence; Iowa House 24 – Roger Thomas, Elkader; Iowa House 25 – Tom Schueller, Maquoketa; Iowa House 25 – David Kendell, Bellevue; Iowa House 32 – Steve Lukan, New Vienna; Iowa House 35 – Kraig Paulsen, Hiawatha; Iowa House 36 – Swati Dandekar, Marion; Iowa House 37 – Andy Anderson, Cedar Rapids; Iowa House 38 – Don Palmer, Cedar Rapids; Iowa House 39 – Dawn Pettengill, Mt. Auburn; Iowa House 40 – Lance Horbach, Tama; Iowa House 41 – Paul Bell, Newton; Iowa House 42 – Geri Huser, Altoona; Iowa House 44 – Polly Granzow, Eldora; Iowa House 46 – John Griswold, Madrid; Iowa House 48 – Charles Braun, Boone; Iowa House 49 – Helen Miller, Fort Dodge; Iowa House 50 – David Tjepkes, Gowrie; Iowa House 51 – Rod Roberts, Carroll; Iowa House 53 – Dan Huseman, Aurelia; Iowa House 54 – Christopher Rants, Sioux City; Iowa House 55 – Clarence Hoffman, Denison; Iowa House 56 – Matt Windschitl, Missouri Valley; Iowa House 57 – Jack Drake, Lewis; Iowa House 58 – Clel Baudler, Greenfield; Iowa House 59 – Dan Clute, Clive; Iowa House 60 – Libby Jacobs, West Des Moines; Iowa House 63 – Scott Raecker, Urbandale; Iowa House 67 – Kevin McCarthy, Des Moines; Iowa House 70 – Carmine Boal, Ankeny; Iowa House 71 – Jim Van Engelenhoven, Pella; Iowa House 72 – Richard Arnold, Russell; Iowa House 73 – Jodi Tymeson, Winterset; Iowa House 74 – Doug Shull, Indianola; Iowa House 75 – Danny Carroll, Grinnell; Iowa House 76 – Betty De Boef, What Cheer; Iowa House 79 – Jeff Kaufmann, Wilton; Iowa House 80 – Nathan Reichert, Muscatine; Iowa House 81 – Jamie Van Fossen, Davenport; Iowa House 82 – Linda Miller, Bettendorf; Iowa House 83 – Steven Olson, De Witt; Iowa House 84 – Jim Van Fossen, Davenport; Iowa House 85 – Jim Lykam, Davenport; Iowa House 87 – Tom Sands, Columbus Junction; Iowa House 88 – Dennis Cohoon, Burlington; Iowa House 89 – Sandy Greiner, Keota; Iowa House 91 – Dave Heaton, Mt. Pleasant; Iowa House 92 – Phil Wise, Keokuk;
Iowa House 94 – Kurt Swaim, Bloomfield; Iowa House 95 – Mike Reasoner, Creston; Iowa House 96 – Cecil Dolecheck, Mount Ayr; Iowa House 97 – Richard Anderson, Clarinda; Iowa House 98 – Greg Forristall, Macedonia; Iowa House 99 – Doug Struyk, Council Bluffs; Iowa House 100 – Paul Shomshor, Council Bluffs.