On Tuesday, incumbent Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey filed papers for his candidacy in the June 3rd primary election.
Northey has already served two terms as Agriculture Secretary and says, since taking office, he's had to grapple with budget cuts and 15 percent fewer staff members in the department. However, he says he's also seen momentum in addressing Iowa's water quality, and if elected to a third term, hopes to see more conservation practices like cover crops and bioreactors in fields across the state.
"There's always interactions with government, federal government as well as state government. I think we look at rules and regulations that continue to seem like they increase a little bit at a time." He says, "It's one of the reasons we're addressing water quality as aggressively as we are in a voluntary way."
In a hypothetical third term, Northey says he hopes his actions would help his successors.
"I think we have an opportunity to be able to develop some relationships that may not pay off for a long-long time, I think of India and the opportunity to connect with India." Northey says, "We probably won't be doing a lot of business with India over the next four years, but if we develop some good relationships there, maybe folks that come 10 or 20 years from now will benefit by those relationships that we can develop over the next four years."
As of Wednesday evening, Northey is the only candidate to file papers for the June 3rd primary election. Northey's Democrat opponent is Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner Sherrie Taha.
The deadline to file papers for candidacy is March 14th at 5pm.