Congressman Tom Latham beams with confidence as he prepares for the biggest challenge of his political career. Thanks to redistricting, the 8-term U.S. House representative tangles with fellow incumbent Leonard Boswell next year. They compete in Iowa’s new Third Congressional District, which includes Polk County and most of southwest Iowa.
“We are going to win this district,” Latham said at a recent county GOP fundraiser in Greenfield. “It is absolutely a swing district, but the difference is this time we are going to have myself as a candidate who is not going to allow Mr. Boswell or anybody else to demonize me. If you remember the last campaign, he did not run one positive ad in the whole campaign because he couldn’t defend his own record.”
Leonard Boswell survived the Republican wave of 2010 by running a nasty smear campaign against Brad Zaun. Every commercial Boswell’s campaign produced was a personal attack on Zaun. Those tactics will be very difficult to use against Latham. “He’s had the ability to make his opponent the issue, rather than his record,” Congressman Latham told TheIowaRepublican. “Last time, if Leonard Boswell had been the issue, he would have lost.”
Boswell likes to portray himself as a moderate, Blue Dog Democrat, but his record does not reflect that. He votes in lockstep with Democrat House Leader Nancy Pelosi. In 2012, voters will easily be able to compare Boswell’s liberal record with Latham’s conservative one. “He voted for out of control spending, for cap and trade, for ObamaCare, the stimulus…it’s a stark contrast as far as the issues go,” Latham said.
Latham says the Democrats massive spending programs created dire circumstances for America’s future. “Since Nancy Pelosi took the speakership almost five years ago, they have added about $5 trillion dollars to our national debt,” Latham said. “40 cents out of every dollar the government spends is borrowed money. It’s from China. We are going to end up looking like Greece, owned by China, if we continue on this path.”
Latham expects a very competitive race with Boswell. Both political parties will expend large resources for the chance to take down an incumbent and keep one of their own. Latham encouraged the Adair County GOP to behind Republican candidates in the 2012 elections.
“I don’t think we have 10 years,” Latham said. “I don’t think we have 5 years. I think we’ve got to do it now. This next election is a pivotal election and that’s why it’s so important for every one of you to get involved and do everything you can to help out locally here. I’m going to need every single vote. Whoever our nominee for President is will every single vote. This is going to be a battleground state. We cannot let this challenge go unanswered.”
The Latham/Boswell race will be one of the most hotly contested congressional races in the entire nation in 2012. Although the district boundaries are new, the area is very familiar to Latham. He already serves three of the counties in the new district, compared to only one for Boswell. Latham has also served western Iowa before. When he was first elected to Congress in 1994, Latham was the Fifth Congressional District representative. He hopes the new district appreciates his long record of standing up for conservative principles.
Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com
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