DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Casting himself as the bright young candidate in the race, Democratic State Rep. Tyler Olson announced Tuesday he will run for governor in 2014.
The 37-year-old revealed his plans in Cedar Rapids at his family's electrical contracting business. He also had campaign events scheduled in Des Moines and Mason City later in the day
Olson told The Associated Press that it's time for a fresh perspective and new ideas in the governor's office, noting Republican Gov. Terry Branstad began his first term as governor 30 years ago.
"I think Iowa has a lot of opportunity in front of us. We need new leadership and a fresh perspective to reach our full potential," Olson said. "I think Iowans are ready to begin the next 30 years."
Olson, who is serving his fourth term in the state House, recently stepped down from his role as Democratic Party chairman to focus on his political future. He said he wanted to focus on changing state economic development policies to better serve small or startup businesses.
"I think our economic development policy needs to be broader. We too narrowly focus on landing the big fish. I think Iowa needs to be a place where somebody can dream it, build it, grow it and keep it right here in the state," Olson said.
Olson also said that he'd like state education policy to focus less on standardized test scores. Asked if he thought Branstad was beatable, Olson said he thought Iowans were ready for something new.
Branstad has not announced if he will run again next year, though he is fundraising and adding staff to his campaign operation. Branstad on Monday announced that he had $2 million in his campaign account and that he will be ready if he chooses to run.
On the Democratic side, state Sen. Jack Hatch, of Des Moines, is exploring a run for governor.