Branstad aims for victory in Lee County - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Branstad aims for victory in Lee County

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FORT MADISON, Ia. (WGEM) -

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is off and running for a sixth term.

His recent record includes tax cuts, investments in education, and lower unemployment.

As part of a 13-city campaign kickoff tour, Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds were in Fort Madison Thursday afternoon to highlight why Lee County is so important to winning in November.

Branstad returned to office in 2011 with a goal to turn Iowa's economy around, and Branstad points to Lee County as a shining example of doing just that.

When Branstad was elected three years ago, Lee County's unemployment rate was 10.3%...today, it's at 6%.

"We've seen a more than 40% reduction already and we think we can do even better," said Branstad.

Siemens is hiring hundreds of workers to build wind turbines for Mid AmericanEnergy, and Branstad pushed for tax credits that helped bring a multi-billion dollar fertilizer plant to Wever.

"We have this big Iowa fertilizer project, there's already 600 construction jobs and by next summer, it will be 1200-1400 and we want to continue to build a bright future."

In five elections dating back to 1982, Governor Branstad has never carried Lee County. But with unemployment falling and more jobs on the horizon, Lee County's economic turnaround may help propel Branstad to another four years in office.

"I want to carry Lee County in the next election. I want to show the people of this county we've earned their support and we'd really appreciate it," said Branstad.

Branstad served four terms from 1983 to 1999 before retiring from public service.

He ran again and won in 2010, and is now going for his sixth term.

The expected Democratic challenger is longtime state senator Jack Hatch from Des Moines.

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