Governor Chet Culver began a public farewell tour around the state on Wednesday and will conclude it today with stops in four cities. Patty Judge, Culver’s lieutenant governor, says it’s “tough” to sum up the past four years, but the Culver/Judge Administrations work on disaster recovery is a hallmark.
“Especially the flood in 2008,” Judge says. “The fact that we came through that disaster, that we were able to chart a course for recovery, that we were able to build the bridges that we needed to build to start the partnership with the federal government and local governments — that one I think is probably the stand-out for me in the last four years.”
Judge was a state senator for six years, then she was Iowa’s ag secretary for eight years before becoming lieutenant governor. She counts the eradication of a major disease that struck the state’s swine producers as one of the top accomplishments of her entire political career.
“One of the things that laymen don’t understand or get — but the pork industry certainly does — is that we eradicated pseudorabies which had been, you know, just an absolute scourge among our pork herds and it’s gone. We don’t have it in the state anymore,” Judge says. “And I met a couple of pork producers on the campaign trail and they said, ‘How come you don’t ever talk about that?’ And I said, ‘Well, because 95 percent of the people in Iowa don’t know what I’m talking about when I do.'”
Culver says he scheduled this week’s tour of eight Iowa cities to thank Iowans for the opportunity they gave him to serve as governor. Culver is scheduled to be in Davenport at 10 a.m., in Iowa City at 12:30 and Cedar Rapids at 2 p.m. His last “thank you” tour still will be in Des Moines at 5 p.m. Culver’s term ends on January 14 when Governor-elect Terry Branstad takes the oath of office. Culver made stops in Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Mason City and Dubuque on Wednesday.