An incumbent who’s been in the post for seven months faces two challengers in the race to be Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture for the next four years.

Iowa’s long-time State Ag Secretary Bill Northey resigned in March to take a job in the USDA. Governor Reynolds appointed Mike Naig to the post. Naig defeated four competitors at the GOP’s state convention in June to win the Republican nomination for ag secretary.

“During this campaign I’ve laid out my vision for the future of agriculture and that is in attracting and inspiring the next generation of Iowans to consider careers in agriculture,” Naig told convention delegates.

Naig is a native of the northwest Iowa community of Cylinder.

Tim Gannon, the Democratic Party’s nominee for state ag secretary, is a Mingo native who’s part of his family farming operation in Jasper County.

“I’m running because I don’t want to see Iowa become a place where our big cities, our metro areas are doing really well, providing economy opportunity, but all our small towns and rural areas are struggling to keep up,” Gannon said at the Iowa Democratic Party’s state convention in June.

Gannon worked for Tom Vilsack in the governor’s office and in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Libertarian Party’s nominee for state ag secretary is Rick Stewart.

“We’ve got 82,000 farmers who know who to farm,” Stewart said on The Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair. “What the secretary of agriculture needs to know is how to stop the government from telling the farmers how to do their job.”

Stewart is a retired businessman from Cedar Rapids.