Citing his Iowa roots and the need to take Iowa values to Washington, David Young, former chief of staff for Sen. Chuck Grassley, stopped in Estherville Wednesday in his campaign for the US Senate seat Dem. Tom Harkin is vacating at the end of 2014.
To date, Young has visited 70 Iowa counties - some two to three times - a similar strategy of his mentor Grassley who consistently visits all 99 Iowa counties yearly.
Born, raised and still living in Van Meter, Young cited the nation's $17 trillion debt, the impact of Obamacare on employers and employees and a general lack of trust in Washington politicians as his reason for running. Like Grassley, Obamacare ranks high in the differences Young cites between himself and apparent Democratic front-runner Bruce Braley, current Iowa 1st District congressman.
"Even the employees are worried about that (Obamacare)," Young said. "It's on the left and on the right." Young noted that even the administration delayed the employer mandate for one year; however, he would have preferred to see the individual mandate delayed for a year as well.
Young also noted mounting deficits in a number of areas - the budget, jobs and public trust.
"Iowans know what's right. We know what's wrong," he said.
Young didn't hesitate to observe what he's learned by working for Grassley.
"I have learned from Sen. Grassley to keep in touch with constituents," Young said. "You come home every weekend and you keep in touch with your fellow Iowans."
Young did jokingly refer to one difference he might have with Grassley if elected.
"I'm not going to get up at 4:30 in the morning and go jogging," Braley said.
While he would have little difference in how Grassley governs, Young in fact noted a lot of differences between himself and Braley.
"He (Braley) votes to keep the estate and death tax in place. He's voted for cap and trade. We have our clear differences on policy and I'll be able to highlight that," Young said.
"The overall thing is I'm ready to serve. I know how to penetrate the government on behalf of Iowans and I know the issues. The welfare of America is at stake."
Expanding on the trust deficit, Young said as senator he would be able to continue Grassley's watchdog role when he, for example, exposed the Fast and Furious program.
And he said he'll be a fiscal watchdog as well.
"Iowans' taxpayer dollars - I want to make sure they are spent wisely," Young said, adding that he would call for zero-based budgeting in which government agencies would have to justify every penny they want to spend.