Norris concentrates on rural roots in Governor race

John Norris, Democratic candidate for Governor, speaks with Sigourney residents at the Fresh Blend on Saturday, Oct. 7.

            Long before announcing his run for Governor of Iowa, John Norris spent his early days on his family farm in Montgomery County before entering the political arena through working with legislators such as Tom Harkin, Leonard Boswell and later as the Chief of Staff for Governor Tom Vilsack. Between the political arenas of larger towns of Ottumwa and Iowa City, Norris took the time to sit down for coffee in Sigourney to discuss rural issues.

            “My campaign is about reaching out to all of Iowa, not just Des Moines or Cedar Rapids,” Norris said. “They are a part of our state too, but we have not focused on rural communities. The only way you’re going to understand the problems we have to deal with is to talk to people.”

            Norris joined a small, involved group for discussion at the Fresh Blend in Sigourney, where he heard concerns ranging from the current state of politics in Iowa, schools and economic regression in Keokuk County over the years. Through engaging with residents, Norris hopes to relay the message of his campaign and decipher the needs of rural Iowa.

            “What I learned this morning and through meetings across the state is that there are a number of rural communities that need help jumpstarting their communities,” Norris said. “I want to see how we can we partner as a state government with our rural communities to identify a strategy going forward. What I found are that we have a lot of low paying jobs and we need to raise wages, rural schools are struggling to keep teachers because of being stripped of collective bargaining rights and issues with IPERS.”

Please view the October 11 edition of The News-Review for the full story.