State Representative Tyler Olson, 37, from Cedar Rapids, launched his campaign for governor with a theme heavy on "fresh ideas" as he begins his challenge to beat Iowa's longest-serving governor, Terry Branstad, 66.
Olson made three stops Tuesday in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Mason City to announce his plans.
"Is Iowa, a state known for leading on human rights, education and agriculture going to move forward or stall out while we rehash the debates of the last three decades?" Olson asked a room full of supporters, family and friends at the Iowa Statehouse.
State Senator Jack Hatch, a Des Moines Democrat, is exploring a run for governor. He is 63, just three years younger than Branstad. Hatch said he, too, will bring new ideas to the race. But he said experience, HIS experience, will also be an asset. "We can bring new ideas. I'm taking it a step further and saying new ideas and experience is probably the best calculator."
Hatch has said previously he will step aside in the race if former Governor Chet Culver decided to run. When asked the same scenario, Olson responded, "I'm running." That is regardless of what Culver decides to do.
Governor Branstad, who has not formally announced he will seek an unprecedented sixth term in office, but has begun to assemble a re-election campaign staff responded with a statement:
“Tyler Olson was always eagerly waiting in the Iowa House to pass former Gov. Chet Culver’s big debt and spend plans. Whether it was the failed $1.7 billion I-JOBS debt plan or billion dollar state budget deficits, Tyler was there as Culver’s debt cheerleader rooting for more debt, larger government and reckless spending."