State Center is very near the geographical center of the state. The town is located about halfway between Ames and Marshalltown, along Highway 30. This past year State Center celebrated the 50th anniversary of being declared the "Rose Capital of Iowa."
Mike Reimenschneider and his wife, Chris, were grand marshals of the parade celebrating that milestone. "We have our own rose garden," Reimenschneider says. "The bank on Main Street has roses. We have rose beds in the sidewalk on Main Street."
Reimenschneider runs Packrat’s Palace, an antique store in State Center. "We have an independently-owned bank on Main Street. Most buildings on Main Street are restored by the individual owners," Reimenschneider says. "…All our streets are paved with curb and gutter. We have a nice, clean, presentable business district and a community."
Reimenschneider has been a member of State Center’s City Council for the past 17 years and admits he may be the "biggest Republican in town."
"McCain’s going to win," Reimenschneider says. "He’s going to come from behind and win with a squeaker." Reimenschneider’s fed up with the ads. "I’m disappointed with all the distortions and lies on TV," Reimenschneider says.
Jake Osgood, State Center’s mayor, describes himself as a "diehard Democrat" who has backed Barack Obama since the Caucuses. "I attended the rally in Des Moines, they had a big rally down there (on Friday), and I was really impressed with that, listening to him. I’ved handing out bumper stickers, literature. I’ve talked to people about him," the mayor says. "I’m supporting him any way I can."
Osgood has been State Center’s mayor for nearly three years. "The talk around State Center has been the election and if we’re going to have a president that’s going to do us any good," Osgood says. "I’ve heard both favoritism for Barack and I’ve heard favoritism for John McCain, but they’re ready for a new leader, that’s for sure."
About 1500 people live in State Center and the town’s mayor expects about 900 to vote. "People are very excited about the election," Osgood says. "I think it will be one of the largest turnouts that State Center’s had."