Editor’s note: Below is a guest submission from State Senator Rick Bertrand (R-Sioux City) who is running for Congress in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District. He is running against incumbent Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) in the upcoming Republican primary on June 7.
Why I Am Running for Congress
By Rick Bertrand
Yes, Steve King has a primary. Shocked? Probably not. Over the past few months I have truly enjoyed my time in the coffee shops, chamber meetings, small businesses, ethanol plants, and feedlots speaking with everyday Iowans about the economic opportunities within our 4th Congressional District of Iowa.
When I decided to run for Congress two key questions emerged as I hit the campaign trail. First who are you, and second, do you really think you can knock off the King.
My name is Rick Bertrand, and yes the math says I can win. I was raised on a hill farm in Woodbury County. Dad retired from MidAmerican Energy, and Mom retired from Sears. We still run a small cow/calf operation and grow crop corn and beans as we are hardworking honest people, we are Iowans. I am living the American dream. I am a business owner, a successful commercial developer, and a husband of 18 years with three small children, ages 8, 6, 4.
I am a conservative, a pro-life Catholic, a firm Second Amendment activist, who believes in a limited government and a strong national defense. I am a man that had never held a public office before I was elected in 2010 to the Iowa Senate as the first Republican to represent Sioux City in over 30 years. I have become a proven legislator, elected to leadership, and have accomplished measurable legislative results, hence clearly I am the political outsider in this primary race.
Iowans are ready for a change, a real choice, and Mr. King understands that this is toughest race within his 14-year tenure and that his political troubles with the voters of Iowa are all self-induced.
So why am I running? As a constituent of the 4th District, I have grown tired of my congressman not running our Iowa agenda, as I believe Steve has gone Washington. Our congressman has lost his Iowa focus as history has demonstrated that this is what happens to politicians whom become too comfortable with their own name.
So let’s get specific, what’s the problem. Well… why isn’t our Congressman, who has seniority, and who represents the largest agriculture district in the nation, not the Chair of the powerful House Agriculture Committee? Why did our Congressman turn his back on the Renewable Fuels industry? Why has our Congressman become non-accessible to our State’s largest employers and Ag leaders? Why hasn’t our Congressman passed one piece of Legislation in 14 years? Why hasn’t our congressman figured out that this primary is not about him, it is about the people of Iowa?
My agenda is clear, positive, and focused on Iowa. If we are going to grow Iowa, many business and agriculture leaders agree, that it will come from the 4th District. This new economic frontier has the potential to provide Iowans an opportunity, a window, a decade of growth which we must seize. With road infrastructure reaching major milestones, economic arteries like Highway 20, Highway 60, and the corridors of I35 and I29 position the 4th District for unprecedented prosperity. As new trade agreements like the TPP come online, new markets like Japan, China, and the Pacific Rim will provide Iowans an opportunity to sell historic levels of our pork, beef, and grains. With new capital investment looking for Midwest locations, Iowa has the opportunity to lead the nation in Agriculture manufacturing while expanding and empowering our Renewable Fuels industry.
It’s time for new representation within the 4th District. I have a plan, and fortunately this June 7th primary will not be about a Conservative vs a Liberal, or a Democrat vs a Republican, it will be about a choice, a real choice. A choice between the status quo of Washington, or a new Representative focused on the people of Iowa, and the economic potential of the 4th District. The choice is ours.