State Representative Tyler Olson of Cedar Rapids this morning announced he’s running for governor.
Olson served as chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party for about four-and-a-half months before resigning in June, in preparation for today’s announcement.
Republican Governor Terry Branstad is laying plans for a sixth run for governor in 2014. In contrast, Olson today said the state needs “new leadership and a fresh perspective.” Olson — in a reference to Branstad’s first term as governor that started in January of 1983 — said: “Iowans are ready to begin the next 30 years instead of living at the end of the last 30.”
Olson, an attorney who has served in the Iowa House since January of 2007, is 37 years old. Olson said the state needs a governor who “understands the speed at which the world is changing.”
Branstad was 36 years old when he was first elected in 1982. He’ll turn 67 in November. Two other Democrats who’ve announced they’re considering a run for governor are also in their 60s. State Senator Jack Hatch of Des Moines has been raising money for the race. Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs said late this spring that he’s weighing the idea of running for governor.
Olson will hold a news conference at the statehouse over the noon hour to discuss his campaign, then he’ll stop in Mason City this afternoon.
In other Iowa political news, a former Democratic state senator has announced her campaign for congress with a youtube video. Staci Appel of Ackworth served one term in the Iowa Senate before losing a bid for reelection in 2010.
“I’m Staci Appel,” she said in the video which featured music, images of Appel with her six children and cartoons as well. “I’m running for congress because the way I see it there needs to be a lot more Iowa common sense in Washington and, for me, that means getting things done ahead of politics and partisanship.”
Appel is running in the district represented by Congressman Tom Latham, a Republican from Clive who is expected to seek an 11th term in 2014. In her introductory video, Appel did not mention Latham by name, but made reference to long-term incumbents.
“Unfortunately in Washington, partisanship and special interests prevent anything from getting done,” Appel said in the video. “Long-time incumbents become part of the system that doesn’t work.”
Appel’s husband is a justice on the Iowa Supreme Court. The Appels have six children.