Dubuque businessman Rod Blum made his bid for congress official on Wednesday when he announced another run for Iowa’s First District seat. Blum lost to Ben Lange in the 2012 Republican primary, 53%-47%. He becomes the second Republican to proclaim intentions to run in 2014. Cedar Rapids businessman Steve Rathje is the other announced candidate.
“I don’t want to go to Washington and attend cocktail parties and be a 30-year politician,” Blum told TheIowaRepublican.com. “I want to go there to do what I say I believe in and what I think is right.”
Rod Blum says he decided to make another bid for the seat before current First District Congressman Bruce Braley announced his intentions for run for the U.S. Senate. Blum’s 2012 experience taught him valuable lessons to prepare for a second run. He and his family handled almost every aspect of that campaign for the first six months. Blum plans to surround himself with a professional staff this time.
“Now, I feel like I’m starting on second base. Last go around, not only was I not at home plate, I didn’t even know where the ballpark was,” Blum said. “It was a nine-month campaign last time and the first six months was myself, my wife and our 12 year old daughter. I did not know a single person outside of the county of Dubuque.”
More than 11,500 Republicans supported Blum in the 2012 primary. His campaign was bolstered by the libertarian wing of the Iowa GOP. They consolidated around Blum. He says that was not by design, but was something that grew organically. So, he begins the 2014 with a solid base of support. If he can build upon that, Blum will be difficult to defeat in the GOP primary.
“It absolutely not a concerted on our part,” Blum said. “I spoke to a lot of Tea Party groups, to 912 groups and I think they liked what I had to say and they coalesced around our campaign. I’m honored, especially with some of the groups being young Republicans. Our party needs youth. I feel good about those people coming to our campaign.”
The main tenets of Blum’s political beliefs are personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, fiscal sanity and the sanctity of life. Same-sex marriage has consumed most of the political chatter this week. Blum believes in one-man, one-woman marriage, but adds that jobs and the economy are more pressing issues for the country right now.
Rod Blum runs his own software company, growing it from 5 to 325 employees in just a five-year span. He was named the Iowa Entrepreneur of the Year in 1994.
“I’m authentic. I’m not a career politician. I don’t want a career in politics. I’ve created jobs my whole life in the private sector so I understand what it’s like to meet a payroll. I understand, as a real estate developer, what it’s like to work under EPA regulations.”
Blum knows many Americans are fed up with what is happening in Washington, D.C. He believes 2014 will be a good year for non-career politicians to win elections. Although Iowa’s First District is heavily Democratic, Blum expressed confidence that he could have defeated Bruce Braley in the 2014 general election. Now that the race will lack an incumbent, Republicans’ chances of claiming it improve.
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