Loebsack challenger Dolan: 2012 race will be about jobs


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One GOPU.S. House hopeful signaled Tuesday his campaign will largely focus on economic issues this year.

"As someone who is in business … I've started businesses from scratch at the kitchen table and grown them," Dan Dolan said to a small crowd at the Coralville Library Tuesday evening. "My concern is for the people who are going to come after me… I feel like we are choking off the opportunity [for the next generation.]"

The Muscatine native hopes to challenge Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, as a Republican in the 2nd Congressional District. Dolan said he wants to focus on job creation and deficit reduction, and he wants to create domestic energy policy.

But a University of Iowa expert said Iowa's job levels will not be as large an issue in the upcoming election, because Iowa's unemployment rates are much lower than the rest of the nation.

"Jobs are what everyone is going to be talking about," political-science Associate Professor Cary Covington said. "It is less compelling than in Iowa, but [unemployment] is still higher than we are used to."

Iowa had an unemployment rate of 5.6 percent as of December 2011, compared with 8.5 percent unemployment nationally, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Johnson County has an unemployment rate of 4.2 percent, according statistics from the Iowa Workforce Development.

Dolan said creating jobs can be helped with capital gained by deregulating banks.

"The pendulum has swung too far," he said. "We look at the banking regulations, the way they have changed … and it just doesn't make any sense. It almost seems like a Paul Revere moment. I'll get calls saying, 'The regulators are coming, the regulators are coming,' and I say, 'Stand up to them.' "

Dolan has owned Dan Dolan Homes for almost 20 years — a business spanning Davenport, Muscatine, Blue Grass, Clinton, LeClaire, and Iowa City, according to his campaign website.

He emphasized the importance of budgets for both business owners and politicians.

"We need a budget," he said. "I am sure everyone in this room has a budget, whether it be in your head or on a computer."

Dolan will compete for the Republican nomination against John Archer in the state June 5. The winner of the Republican nomination will go on to challenge Loebsack in November.

Brian Fritsch, Loebsack's political director said regardless of the opponent, Loebsack will run a campaign similar to the ones he has in the past.

"Right now, Dave is focused on what Iowans care most about — creating good jobs and investing in a sound economic future," Fritsch wrote in an email. "I'm confident that Mr. Dolan will also run a spirited race, and we look forward to engaging him on the issues."

Iowa City residents Sue and John Lind, who attended the Dolan event, said they attended to oppose Loebsack.

"We need people in the House and Senate who understand the dilemma our country is in," John said.

Loebsack is serving his third term in the U.S. House. Being a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, he is running on platforms including job creation, grade- and high-school education, and training for Iowa workers, according to his website.

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