Politics

Tyler Olson Brings 'Fresh Point of View' to Iowa Governor's Race

Tyler Olson, the youthful face of Iowa Democrats, is running for governor at a time when the Republican Party is worried about its ability to connect with younger voters.
July 10, 2013

Tyler Olson, the youthful face of Iowa Democrats, is running for governor at a time when the Republican Party is worried about its ability to connect with younger voters.

Olson, 37, the vice president of a Cedar Rapids electrical contracting company and a four-term state lawmaker, announced his candidacy Tuesday morning in his hometown, then again at events at the Iowa Capitol and in Mason City.

“I’m a forward looking guy,” Olson told The Des Moines Register in an interview. “I think that my experience and my energy make me the best candidate to begin the next 30 years.”

Olson is popular with key Democratic activists, who believe he’s got what it takes to challenge the Republicans’ likely 2014 candidate, Gov. Terry Branstad, 66. Branstad is expected to be a formidable opponent — he’s popular with the majority of Iowans ages 35 and under, as well as a majority of all age groups, an Iowa Poll showed last month. And Branstad has won all 12 races he’s embarked upon over the last four decades.

Supporters predict voter behavior will change when Olson’s name is on the ballot.

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