Monte Shaw, the executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association and a member of the Republican Party of Iowa’s State Central Committee, plans to run for Congress. A source close to Shaw tells TheIowaRepublican.com Shaw is “more than 90 percent” likely to enter the race for Iowa’s Third Congressional District seat.
Eight-term Congressman Tom Latham plans to retire next season, leaving the seat open in the 2014 election and creating a scramble among Republicans who were not anticipating Latham’s decision.
Shaw was just elected to the State Central Committee in November. He won a three-person race in a special election to fill a vacancy on the committee. Our source says Shaw would resign from the SCC once he enters the race.
At first glance, Monte Shaw would seem like an underdog compared to some of the better known candidates likely to run for the congressional seat. However, Shaw’s background and connections in the district provide him with a solid base to launch a campaign.
Shaw graduated from Shenandoah High School, used to live in Guthrie County and represented most of the area for two full terms on the SCC, from 2008-12. He now lives in Polk County.
Thanks to his role with the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Shaw has strong contacts with farmers and agri-business people throughout the Third District, as well as power brokers in Des Moines. Outside of Polk and Dallas counties, the Third District is mostly rural.
“He makes it interesting from the point of view that he’s probably the leading ag name in this race at this point,” said Adair County GOP Chairman Ryan Frederick. “This definitely makes the race more interesting and has to change the calculations for anyone else who might still be considering.”
Additionally, Monte Shaw is an experienced campaign operative. He ran Jim Lightfoot’s congressional campaign in 1994, Chuck Grassley’s U.S. Senate campaign in 1998 and Elizabeth Dole’s Iowa caucus campaign in 2000. Shaw also assisted the Bob Dole and Steve Forbes presidential campaigns and chaired the SCC’s organizational committee for three years.
Barring a dramatic change in plans, Monte Shaw will enter the race within the next few weeks, our source says.
Photo courtesy of AgWired
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