The Iowa Corn Growers Assocation's political action committee announced its support for 66 Iowa candidates today. Unlike the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, which endorsed 64 Republicans and just three Democrats, the Corn Growers' PAC is supporting 33 candidates from each party.
For the governor's race, the corn growers took the unusual step of endorsing both Governor Chet Culver and his Republican opponent, Terry Branstad. Nearly all of the other endorsed candidates are incumbents: Republican Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Senator Chuck Grassley, and all five U.S. House incumbents: Democrats Bruce Braley, Leonard Boswell and Dave Loebsack, and Republicans Tom Latham and Steve King. Boswell's campaign was quick to hail the endorsement in a press release, with Boswell promising to use his position on the House Agriculture Committee to be a strong voice for farmers and ethanol producers. Boswell's first campaign advertisement this year focused on Republican challenger Brad Zaun's pledge to do "nothing" to help Iowa's biofuels industry.
The Corn Growers' PAC endorsed 17 candidates for Iowa Senate, 10 Democrats and 7 Republicans. In races expected to be competitive, the corn growers are backing Democrats Rich Olive in district 5, Staci Appel in district 37, both candidates in district 9 (incumbent Democrat Bill Heckroth and Republican Bill Dix), and both candidates in district 45 (incumbent Democrat Becky Schmitz and Republican Sandy Greiner). Dix and Greiner have served in the Iowa legislature before.
All 40 Iowa House candidates endorsed by the corn growers are incumbents. Republicans have a slight edge with 22 endorsed candidates, but many of the 18 Democrats on the list hold seats the GOP is targeting: McKinley Bailey (district 9), John Beard (district 16), Andrew Wenthe (district 18), Bob Kressig (district 19), Ray Zirkelbach (district 31), Donovan Olson (district 48), Eric Palmer (district 75), Nathan Reichert (district 80) and Michael Reasoner (district 95). The Corn Growers' PAC did not make an endorsement in any of the open-seat Iowa House races.
The Iowa Corn Growers Association press release containing the full list of endorsed candidates is after the jump.
UPDATE: Forgot to mention that the Iowa Farmers Union gave Culver its "Friend of the Farmer award last week. According to the Marshalltown Times-Republican, "Gregg Heide, vice president of the IFU, said Culver's backing of the Iowa Power Fund, renewable energy and biofuels were the main reasons he was being honored."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Iowa Corn Growers Association Announces Corn PAC Awards
Johnston, IA, September 1, 2010 - Today, the Iowa Corn Growers Association Political Action Committee (ICGA PAC) endorsed 66 candidates for the November 2010 elections, including 57 candidates for the Iowa State Senate and the Iowa House of Representatives.
The ICGA PAC established bipartisan support for Democrats and Republicans for the 2010 state and federal races, including 33 Democrats and 33 Republicans.
"Political decisions here in Iowa are critical to the future of farming," said Bruce Rohwer, PAC chair. "PAC support is one tool we can use to help elect people who have supported corn growers' policies and who have taken action on issues that matter to corn growers."
ICGA PAC decisions are made through an objective analysis including candidate responses to our survey, voting records, letters and other quantified evidence of support. The ICGA PAC committee members include farmers from across Iowa, with an equal balance of party affiliation to ensure decisions are based only on corn growers' policies.
Endorsements for the 2010 federal election cycle include:
• Senator Grassley (R)
• Congressman Boswell (D)
• Congressman Braley (D)
• Congressman King (R)
• Congressman Latham (R)
• Congressman Loebsack (D)
The Iowa Corn Growers Political Action Committee (PAC) has endorsed both Terry Branstad (R) and Chet Culver (D) for the 2010 State of Iowa, Governor's Race.
The Iowa Corn Growers PAC is also endorsing Bill Northey (R) for the 2010 Iowa Secretary of Agriculture race.
The Iowa Corn PAC endorsed 57 candidates for the Iowa State Senate and the Iowa House of Representatives for the 2010 election cycle.
• For Iowa Senate:
Staci Appel (D), Daryl Beall (D), Dennis Black (D), Nancy Boettger (R), Bill Dix (R), Bill Dotzler (D), Robert Dvorsky (D), Sandy Greiner (R), Bill Heckroth (D), Hubert Houser (R), David Johnson (R), Keith Kreiman (D), Larry Noble (R), Rich Olive (D), Amanda Ragan (D), Becky Schmitz (D), and Joe Seng (D).
• For Iowa House of Representatives:
Dwayne Alons (R), Richard Arnold (R), McKinley Bailey (D), Clel Baudler (R), John Beard (D), Dennis Cohoon (D), Betty De Boef (R), Dave Deyoe (R), Cecil Dolecheck (R), Jack Drake (R), David Heaton (R), Erik Helland (R), Daniel Huseman (R), Jeff Kaufmann (R), Bob Kressig (D), Steven Lukan (R), Jim Lykam (D), Larry Marek (D), Kevin McCarthy (D), Helen Miller (D), Patrick Murphy (D), Donovan Olson (D), Steven Olson (R), Eric Palmer (D), Kraig Paulsen (R), Henry Rayhons (R), Michael Reasoner (D), Nathan Reichert (D), Thomas Sands (R), Paul Shomshor (D), Sharon Steckman (D), Kurt Swaim (D), Annette Sweeney (R), Linda Upmeyer (R), Jim Van Engelenhoven (R), Ralph Watts (R), Andrew Wenthe (D), Matt Windschitl (R), Gary Worthan (R), and Ray Zirkelbach (D).
Iowa Corn Growers Association PAC decisions are made by a bipartisan committee of Iowa Corn Growers Association members after candidates are evaluated for their support of Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) policies, including such topics as the farm bill, ethanol, livestock support and transportation.
Funding for the Iowa Corn Growers Association PAC comes from voluntary donations by ICGA members. ICGA dues money are not used for PAC contributions.