Last week, I attended a fundraiser for Steve Sodders with Sen. Tom Harkin. It was a well attended event for being on Monday morning at 8 am.
Sen. Harkin stressed how important it is to elect good people to the statehouse and highlighted all of Steve's great work in the community. Sodders is a deputy sheriff in Marshall County, is on the Red Cross board, serves on the Youth and Shelter Services board, and coaches middle school wrestling.
Then Harkin went on to discuss rising energy costs. Harkin cited increased production of cellulosic ethanol in the 2008 Farm Bill and discussed the potential of renewable energy. One example heused was making ethanol out of algae. He also mentioned how we can't drill our way out of this problem.
I have attended a couple of events for Steve Sodders this year. This was one of the first ones he gave real campaign speech at and I think everyone left impressed. I got the whole speech on video, but the sound didn't come out. Since I was taping the speech, I missed a lot of the details, but here is the gist of the speech.
Sodders told a story of him growing up. There was an elderly lady that lived down the block and he and his brothers would mow her yard and help with yard work. When they'd finish, the lady would get her checkbook out and ask them how much they were worth that day. Steve then made the connection to present day Iowa, saying that he believes Iowans are worth a quality education, health care, and a state where young people want to stay in after graduation. To keep young people in the state, it requires good paying jobs. Sodders said we have a great opportunity to create good paying jobs through the research and development of renewable energy in the State.
Sodders is running for the State Senate in District 22 that covers Marshall and Hardin Counties. The seat was formerly held by Republican Larry McKibben who has retired. Sodders is facing Republican Jarret Heil. Democrats consider this seat to be one of their top chances to pick up a seat in the Iowa Senate this year.