A talk show host on a Sioux City radio station signed off the air for the last time late this morning, then he appeared before a crowd of supporters tonight to make this announcement: “No reason to keep up the suspense. I’m Sam Clovis and I’m running for the United States Senate.”
Clovis joins two other Republicans who are running for the senate seat Democrat Tom Harkin has held since 1984. Harkin announced in January he would not seek reelection in 2014.
During an interview tonight with Radio Iowa, Clovis said he made the decision to run after Republican “rock stars” like Congressmen Steve King and Tom Latham didn’t.
“I was concerned that we were going to get ‘more of the same,'” Clovis said, “and I’m not being critical of anybody, it’s just that in this part of the state and across most of the grassroots parts of the state people are tired of the establishment and establishment-like candidates and I think they were looking for somebody different.”
Clovis, who is 63 years old, lives in Hinton and is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who flew fighter jets. Clovis described his new mission as trying to flip “politics as usual” on its head.
“I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t think I would win it because I’m too old and too cantankerous to sit here and waste my time doing something just to feel good,” Clovis told Radio Iowa. “I’m doing this because I think I can win and I think I can make a difference.”
Clovis described himself as a constitutional, “four-square” conservative.
“I’ll call out the leadership on either party,” Clovis told the crowd tonight in Sioux City. “…I just believe that we have come to the point where someone has to draw the line.”
Clovis supports the so-called “Fair Tax” which would get rid of the individual income tax and replace it with a federal sales tax.
“I believe in fiscal conservatism,” Clovis said during his speech in Sioux City. “We need to freeze spending. Not another nickel until the revenues that come into the government exceed the ones that we have.”
Clovis has been a professor in the business and economics department at Morningside College in Sioux City, but he was granted a sabbatical for the coming academic year before he even thought about running for the Senate. Clovis has hosted a radio talk show on KSCJ AM for the past three and a half years.
Woody Gottburg of KSCJ in Sioux City also contributed to this story. Photo provided by Clovis campaign.