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Loebsack focus on middle class, jobs

Published: Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 2:02 p.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 2:03 p.m. CST

As Iowa’s Congressional Districts were redrawn following the 2012 Census, three-term U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack made the choice to pack his bags and move from his longtime home in Mt. Vernon to Iowa City to maintain residency in the state’s 2nd District.

Since the move, Loebsack has been challenged by Davenport Democratic primary rival Joe Seng and by his current Republican opponent and Bettendorf attorney John Archer. National political analysts have considered the 2012 race for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District to be competitive and Loebsack has taken that to heart, visiting Jasper County more than 10 times since last year.

The 59-year-old Congressman was raised in poverty in Sioux City by a single parent. He attended Iowa State University, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees before traveling to the University of California-Davis, where he obtained a doctorate degree in 1982. Loebsack was a career professor at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, where he currently is a professor emeritus.

Loebsack was elected in the 2006 midterm elections during the first of two Democratic waves to sweep Congress before the recession. He won a narrow 6,000-vote margin against 15-term Republican Congressman Jim Leach. Loebsack beat the moderate Republican after being added to the Democratic Primary ticket as a write-in candidate.

While in Congress, Loebsack gained popularity for working for disaster relief efforts for the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area hit hard by severe flooding in the spring and summer of 2008. More recently, Loebsack has passed legislation through a House subcommittee attempting to save the 132nd Fighter Wing of the Iowa Air National Guard and is an outspoken advocate for the wind production tax credit.

Loebsack has spoken about the PTC while in Newton, and has made attempts to pass the extension of the tax incentive for wind energy producers, which currently is stalled in Congress.

“Everyone understands that the tax credits won’t be there forever,” Loebsack said after an April 13 visit to Trinity Structural Towers. “But still at this time, especially with natural gas prices being as low as they are … right now for the economy, for continued generation of wind energy and the electricity derived from it, we have to have the production tax credit.”

As one of the 13 new counties in his district, Loebsack has put a large emphasis on Newton and Jasper County during the 2012 campaign. The Congressman most recently toured Progress Industries, walked in Newton’s Fourth of July Parade, visited TPI Composites, attended veterans events, participated in an economic round-table with Newton business leaders and borrowed a page from Jasper County’s exiting U.S. Congressman Leonard Boswell, D-IA, by dressing as a UPS clerk and delivering packages to meet area voters.

“Newton is a very important part of the district for a variety of reasons,” Loebsack said on April 13. “With my focus on the middle class and jobs and the struggles Newton has faced over the last several years, it’s important for me to come here and talk about those issues.”

To learn more about Loebsack, visit www.loebsack.house.gov.

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