Kellogg alumnus enters Iowa Republican primary for US Senate seat

Joseph Diebold, Campus Editor

A Kellogg alumnus has thrown his hat in the ring to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

Mark Jacobs (Kellogg ’89) announced his candidacy Tuesday. Jacobs joins a crowded Republican field vying to replace Harkin, who will leave following the 2014 elections the seat he has held since 1985. Six other candidates have already declared they intend to run in the primary. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) is the only Democratic candidate to enter the race thus far.

In his announcement speech, Jacobs touted his pro-business acumen and conservative bona fides.

“The true choice we face is either electing another politician, and expecting a different result, or choosing someone with a business perspective who will build coalitions to enshrine our conservative principles into law,” he said. “We are drowning in debt and dysfunction in Washington, and we need a different type of leader.”

Jacobs used the speech to outline his five priorities to boost job growth as the nation continues to list itself: education, expanded energy production, deregulation, tax reform and health care reform.

“Jobs are my top priority. In fact, you can’t spell Jacobs without jobs,” he said. “And if you send me to the United States Senate, I will make jobs for Iowa my number one priority.”

The Republican primary will be held in June 2014, with the general election scheduled for November. Analyst Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, currently has the race listed as “Leans Democratic.”

Jacobs received his undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University.

— Joseph Diebold