Candidate hopes to challenge Branstad

A Calhoun County Republican is hoping collect enough signatures so he can challenge Gov. Terry Branstad in the primary June 3.

Tom Hoefling of Lohrville said he’s been circulating petitions around the state to get his name on the ballot.

“We’ve got to get at about 3,600 signatures from at least 10 counties,” he said. “We are on track to get it done.”

He was in Webster County Wednesday and Hamilton County Thursday working to garner more signatures. He also spoke to the Hamilton County Republicans Thursday night.

Hoefling said he thinks many conservatives are looking for another option in the race for governor.

“We think people should have a choice in the primary. I saw that no one was stepping up to run in the Republican primary against the Governor this year and so I decided to step up,” he said.

Hoefling said he favored the return of “True local Control” for schools and said it was time to have a conversation about the Iowa Common Core.

“I believe in true local control for schools, which means that the money stays at home,” he said. “We need to stop sending the money to Des Moines and Washington and having them run it through a big bureaucracy and then send a little bit back with strings attached.”

Hoefling said he would advocate change in economic development policies and would look for ways for everyone in Iowa to prosper.

“I think our laws and policies should treat everyone equally. So therefore, I don’t want special deals for companies. What passes these days for economic development, I consider to be crony capitalism,” he said.

One way of approaching this issue, according to Hoefling, would be to eliminate the state income tax.

“We need to have a conversation about this. We have one of the highest income tax rates in the country. It’s higher than states like New York, Illinois and Michigan,” he said. Hoefling added many states are doing well without state income taxes.

The candidate said much of the economic talk coming from Branstad doesn’t jive with what’s really happening in around the country.

“People are hurting. They’re having a hard time paying their mortgages, keeping the lights on, paying for insurance and staying off of public assistance,” he said.

“I really want to have a debate about fundamental reforms. We need to address the root causes for these problems, not just put a gloss on them any more,” said Hoefling.