After a few months of exploring the possibility, Francis Thicke is ready to announce his candidacy for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture in 2010. He’s scheduled press conferences in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Ottumwa on September 9.
Thicke’s campaign website outlines his “new vision for Iowa agriculture,” which involves more local food production, on-farm energy production, and “animal production systems that are profitable, environmentally sound, and socially responsible.”
You can see from his bio how qualified he is for the position as an organic dairy farmer, educator and public servant.
There’s also a blog on the campaign website; recent posts include this endorsement from Denise O’Brien, founder of the Women, Food and Agriculture Network and Democratic nominee for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture in 2006.
Thicke will be an underdog against incumbent Bill Northey, who after considering a bid for governor announced this summer that he’ll run for re-election instead. Industrial agriculture interests generously funded Northey’s 2006 campaign and will fight hard against Thicke. If you can afford to contribute to Thicke’s campaign, his ActBlue page is here.
This is one of those rare cases when a down-ticket candidate might help Democrats higher up the ballot. Thicke’s candidacy is likely to become a focal point for Democratic activists who are (to put it mildly) not satisfied with Governor Chet Culver or Democratic legislative leaders on environmental issues. Some of these people would not volunteer for Culver’s campaign or their local statehouse incumbent, but they will be happy to help GOTV for Thicke.
In case anyone’s wondering, the name is pronounced “Tic-kee.”