Get ready for
a campaign like
no other in Iowa!

 

I’m running for Governor because Iowa is at a critical moment in our history – with great potential tempered by real challenges – and fully ready for change.

I’m not a politician, and I don’t care about furthering my political career or personal agenda. I’ve never been a legislator. I don’t have a voting record. My work has been in the executive branch. I’ve worked at every level of government, local, state and federal, as a successful conservationist and policy leader in Iowa, focusing on topics such as water quality, renewable energy, and agricultural policy.

I bring people together to solve problems that affect us all — and I’ve done it throughout my career. I would rather get things done than form another committee. That’s the kind of leader the people who work for our state agencies would most prefer to follow. I know that from experience, too.

Like you, I am sick and tired of divisive partisan politics, radical political fringes on both sides of our deep political divide, and trite sound bytes dominating our political culture. I know Iowans are better than that, and a Governor should lead by example.

In my experience working with Iowans, I’ve learned we want leaders who are clear in their beliefs but open about taking in new information that may change their minds. There has never been a moment in which fact-based, truthful leadership is more crucial.

My focus as an executive on being candid, transparent, and fair, is both desperately needed and largely absent in today’s government. I don’t hold back my opinions and beliefs; I say what I mean and mean what I say. I believe Iowans deserve a government with backbone and character and I will work every day to provide it. Now, we all want great public education, roads and bridges, police and fire protection, clean air and water, a thriving economy, a productive agriculture, and competent and affordable medical care. Iowans are willing to pay for these things as long as we get what we pay for. State government, must be efficient, effective, and show results.

There is also an important role played by our free market, which is good at some things that government should not pursue. We need an honest discussion about the role of government, including on regulations.

  • Connector.

    boyscout

    Rich learned to explore and love the outdoors as an Eagle Scout from Troop 113 of Reading, Minnesota. As a 13 year-old, he enjoyed his first off-the-farm work experience as summer camp counselor at Lewis and Clark Boy Scout Camp in Yankton, SD.

  • Connector.

    ARMY NATIONAL GUARD

    Rich served our country through his time in the Army National Guard Infantry as a MOS 11C Expert Mortar Man. Through his service, he gained discipline and structure that had a great impact on his life going forward.

  • Connector.

    director of the iowa dnr

    During his tenure as Director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Rich brought expert leadership into one of the largest departments in Iowa’s state government and led the charge to balance the two hundred million dollar budget with a goal of higher efficiency.

 

this is who i am.

 

Everyone who runs for office should tell you their beliefs. I want you to know who I am and why I am taking this step.

I am married to my best friend, Kathleen, an elementary school teacher in Des Moines. Together we have two lovely children. My son Seth (married to Jacy) is the father of Skyelynn, Aldo and Luna. Our daughter Ayla works full-time for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Iowa and completing a double-major Master’s program at Drake University in mental health and school counseling. We are a very close family and spend considerable time together. I also have a son, Joseph Knowstheground, who lives on the Crow reservation in south-central Montana, married with four children.

I am likewise close to my extended family, my mom and dad (Jesse and Carolyn) who live in Worthington, Minnesota, my brother Trent, my sisters Cindy and Brenda, and their spouses, and their children. Growing up, we attended family birthdays, baptisms, confirmations, summer campouts, weddings, funerals, and holidays.

I am a person who is sustained by the daily practice of faith. I grew up in the Lutheran church, and over the years we have raised our family in Iowa Lutheran congregations.
My passion outside public service is for people still suffering with addiction. For nearly 30 years I have volunteered inside treatment centers, jails, and prisons. My individual service is one of the things for which I am the most grateful in this life, and will continue when I am Governor.

 

Being involved in my community and state are important also. There is never enough time, but I have served on boards and volunteered doing “grunt work” for dozens of non-profit, faith-based, youth-centered, and/or conservation organizations.

And I like to live life to its fullest enjoying Iowa’s natural resources, spending as much time outside as possible. One of my favorite quotes is “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and an inclination to savour it.” (E.B. White). I travel a great deal across this state on my motorcycle, hiking and paddling at stops every chance I get. And I love international travel, visiting 27 countries across the world to date.

I’m excited to offer a new kind of option for leadership in Iowa. It’s about common sense and solution-seeking. It’s about leading from start to finish, and not giving up until the job is done. I look forward to talking and listening to you and every Iowan who joins our campaign to change how government in Iowa works.

 
 

and this is why you should vote for
Rich Leopold for Governor in 2018.

Iowa needs a strong leader, one that can truly work with all interests to get things done. I have had the opportunity to work hard on the executive level in Iowa. Crisis such as the 2008 floods, which threatened multiple water supplies and resulted in widespread pollution, required a skilled team of professionals to navigate, and I built the team to handle the situation. When working on economic development, I skillfully interwove the concepts of “clean” and “sustainable” into Iowa’s current energy paradigm.

The Governor needs to be talented executive leader. This person leads the 58,000 state workers in Iowa, including professionals in education, public safety, transportation, economic development, environmental protection, and the men and women in the Iowa National Guard. These people need a leader to guide them toward efficient and effective efforts, a proven manager and team builder, and not just another politician who presumes to micro-manage from a distant understanding.

I know the value of hard work. I have earned my place, working my way from humble beginnings through perseverance, education, and a dedication to my faith and my family. We cannot go forward with the continued name-calling, blame-oriented politics between the legislature and the Governor’s office. We need a change, if we are to position ourselves well for Iowa’s future, and I strongly believe I can lead this change.

Iowa began, and is still largely recognized, as a farm state, and as we should be. Iowa is blessed to have some of the best soil on the planet, a great climate for growing, and a dedicated and professional agricultural workforce. But there are problems. We are losing topsoil. Our waters carry too many nutrients. Large agriculture has its place, but we also have a need for a diversified agricultural economy, with medium and small producers playing a major role.

Agriculture’s challenges are complicated, and won’t be fixed by political sound bites and glib and antagonistic attacks. I have a strong and successful history here, working with commodity groups and the Iowa Farm Bureau, and with the urban and environmental community, on common-sense and practical policy. Iowa desperately needs this kind of leadership to resolve the current animosity and “half-measures” that dominate the current conversation.

Over the years, Iowa’s economy has diversified. We have strong markets in insurance and banking, higher education, renewable energy, bio-fuels, large manufacturing, and yes, even tourism! Our large urban centers are thriving, and Iowa continues to build on our reputation as a great place to live and raise a family.

And yet, there are dark clouds on Iowa’s horizon because of poor executive management. Our handling of mental illness and medical coverage is abysmal, largely due to arrogant mismanagement by the executive branch. The Governor’s inflammatory rhetoric and policies have divided our state between rural and urban Iowans, just when we need to be united. And our education system is broken, again. After years of strong pre-K and K-12 funding, we are again falling back on larger class sizes and inadequate funding. Iowa has laid-off 8,000 teachers in the last 6 years, and that is inexcusable. Our Regent universities, respected worldwide, seem to have become infiltrated with cronyism appointments and business takeovers.

And jobs. Because our nation’s economy is strong, Iowa’s unemployment is down, but there are still too many unemployed or underemployed. How do you pass a “gas tax” for crumbling transportation infrastructure, and then lay-off state transportation workers the very next year?! How do you give over $150 million in tax incentives to an Egyptian chemical plant, and then offer millions more in attempts to “attract” Pioneer world headquarters to Iowa after they have already been here for decades? And please, someone tell me, how do you propose to spend $80 million on a partial renovation of the state historical building for a courtyard, while dozens of small towns across Iowa have crumbling infrastructure needs?

We need Iowa jobs. We need sustainable and good paying jobs that can’t be outsourced, such as the strong wind industry in Iowa that I helped bring about. We need strong agricultural markets, here and abroad, large and small, supporting livestock, grains, and community-supported fruit and vegetable production. We need a strong quality of life and a free-minded educated workforce, attracting worldwide IT and technology growth companies.

And lastly, we need a plan. For too long, Iowa government seems to be running by the seat of their pants. Decisions are top-down, short-sighted, driven by big money and cronyism, and not even properly vetted within their own party! While an executive leader within Iowa, I have led multiple efforts at lean and efficient government, coalition-driven solutions, bi-partisan successes, and transformative change. It can happen, if your executive is open-minded, sensitive to all parties needs, and driven to look for mutual and common-sense solutions.

I am not a politician. I have never run for political office. I know how Iowa government works, from the inside, and yet I am not beholden to any vested interests. Iowa deserves inspired leadership, hardworking team efforts, and a skilled, calm, and firm hand at the wheel. And, if given the opportunity in November of 2018, I plan to give Iowa all it deserves in being its next Governor.

Richard Leopold

Get ready
for a
campaign
like no other
in Iowa!

I’m running for Governor because Iowa is at a critical moment in our history – with great potential tempered by real challenges – and fully ready for change.

I’m not a politician, and I don’t care about furthering my political career or personal agenda. I’ve never been a legislator. I don’t have a voting record. My work has been in the executive branch. I’ve worked at every level of government, local, state and federal, as a successful conservationist and policy leader in Iowa, focusing on topics such as water quality, renewable energy, and agricultural policy.

I bring people together to solve problems that affect us all — and I’ve done it throughout my career. I would rather get things done than form another committee. That’s the kind of leader the people who work for our state agencies would most prefer to follow. I know that from experience, too.

Like you, I am sick and tired of divisive partisan politics, radical political fringes on both sides of our deep political divide, and trite sound bytes dominating our political culture. I know Iowans are better than that, and a Governor should lead by example.

In my experience working with Iowans, I’ve learned we want leaders who are clear in their beliefs but open about taking in new information that may change their minds. There has never been a moment in which fact-based, truthful leadership is more crucial.

My focus as an executive on being candid, transparent, and fair, is both desperately needed and largely absent in today’s government. I don’t hold back my opinions and beliefs; I say what I mean and mean what I say. I believe Iowans deserve a government with backbone and character and I will work every day to provide it. Now, we all want great public education, roads and bridges, police and fire protection, clean air and water, a thriving economy, a productive ag, and competent and affordable medical care. Iowans are willing to pay for these things as long as we get what we pay for. State government, must be efficient, effective, and show results.

There is also an important role played by our free market, which is good at some things that government should not pursue. We need an honest discussion about the role of government, including on regulations.

  • Connector.

    eagle boy scout

    Rich learned to explore and love the outdoors as an Eagle Scout from Troop 113 of Reading, Minnesota. As a 13 year-old, he enjoyed his first off-the-farm work experience as summer camp counselor at Lewis and Clark Boy Scout Camp in Yankton, SD.

  • Connector.

    ARMY NATIONAL GUARD

    Rich served our country through his time in the Army National Guard Infantry as a MOS 11C Expert Mortar Man. Through his service, he gained discipline and structure that had a great impact on his life going forward.

  • Connector.

    director of the iowa dnr

    During his tenure as Director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Rich brought expert leadership into the one of the largest departments in Iowa’s state government and led the charge to balance the two hundred million dollar budget with a goal of higher efficiency.

this is who i am.

Everyone who runs for office should tell you their beliefs. I want you to know who I am and why I am taking this step.

I am married to my best friend, Kathleen, an elementary school teacher in Des Moines. Together we have two lovely children. My son Seth (married to Jacy) is the father of Skyelynn, Aldo and Luna. Our daughter Ayla works full-time for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Iowa and completing a double-major Master’s program at Drake University in mental health and school counseling. We are a very close family and spend considerable time together. I also have a son, Joseph Knowstheground, who lives on the Crow reservation in south-central Montana, married with four children.

I am likewise close to my extended family, my mom and dad (Jesse and Carolyn) who live in Worthington, Minnesota, my brother Trent, my sisters Cindy and Brenda, and their spouses, and their children. Growing up, we attended family birthdays, baptisms, confirmations, summer campouts, weddings, funerals, and holidays.

I am a person who is sustained by the daily practice of faith. I grew up in the Lutheran church, and over the years we have raised our family in Iowa Lutheran congregations.
My passion outside public service is for people still suffering with addiction. For nearly 30 years I have volunteered inside treatment centers, jails, and prisons. My individual service is one of the things for which I am the most grateful in this life, and will continue when I am Governor.

 
 
 

Being involved in my community and state are important also. There is never enough time, but I have served on boards and volunteered doing “grunt work” for dozens of non-profit, faith-based, youth-centered, and/or conservation organizations.

And I like to live life to its fullest enjoying Iowa’s natural resources, spending as much time outside as possible. One of my favorite quotes is “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and an inclination to savour it.” (E.B. White). I travel a great deal across this state on my motorcycle, hiking and paddling at stops every chance I get. And I love international travel, visiting 27 countries across the world to date.

I’m excited to offer a new kind of option for leadership in Iowa. It’s about common sense and solution-seeking. It’s about leading from start to finish, and not giving up until the job is done. I look forward to talking and listening to you and every Iowan who joins our campaign to change how government in Iowa works.

 

and this is why you should vote for
Rich Leopold for Governor in 2018.

Iowa needs a strong leader, one that can truly work with all interests to get things done. I have had the opportunity to work hard on the executive level in Iowa. Crisis such as the 2008 floods, which threatened multiple water supplies and resulted in widespread pollution, required a skilled team of professionals to navigate, and I built the team to handle the situation. When working on economic development, I skillfully interwove the concepts of “clean” and “sustainable” into Iowa’s current energy paradigm.

The Governor needs to be talented executive leader. This person leads the 58,000 state workers in Iowa, including professionals in education, public safety, transportation, economic development, environmental protection, and the men and women in the Iowa National Guard. These people need a leader to guide them toward efficient and effective efforts, a proven manager and team builder, and not just another politician who presumes to micro-manage from a distant understanding.

I know the value of hard work. I have earned my place, working my way from humble beginnings through perseverance, education, and a dedication to my faith and my family. We cannot go forward with the continued name-calling, blame-oriented politics between the legislature and the Governor’s office. We need a change, if we are to position ourselves well for Iowa’s future, and I strongly believe I can lead this change.

Iowa began, and is still largely recognized, as a farm state, and as we should be. Iowa is blessed to have some of the best soil on the planet, a great climate for growing, and a dedicated and professional agricultural workforce. But there are problems. We are losing topsoil. Our waters carry too many nutrients. Large agriculture has its place, but we also have a need for a diversified agricultural economy, with medium and small producers playing a major role.

Agriculture’s challenges are complicated, and won’t be fixed by political sound bites and glib and antagonistic attacks. I have a strong and successful history here, working with commodity groups and the Iowa Farm Bureau, and with the urban and environmental community, on common-sense and practical policy. Iowa desperately needs this kind of leadership to resolve the current animosity and “half-measures” that dominate the current conversation.

Over the years, Iowa’s economy has diversified. We have strong markets in insurance and banking, higher education, renewable energy, bio-fuels, large manufacturing, and yes, even tourism! Our large urban centers are thriving, and Iowa continues to build on our reputation as a great place to live and raise a family.

And yet, there are dark clouds on Iowa’s horizon because of poor executive management. Our handling of mental illness and medical coverage is abysmal, largely due to arrogant mismanagement by the executive branch. The Governor’s inflammatory rhetoric and policies have divided our state between rural and urban Iowans, just when we need to be united. And our education system is broken, again. After years of strong pre-K and K-12 funding, we are again falling back on larger class sizes and inadequate funding. Iowa has laid-off 8,000 teachers in the last 6 years, and that is inexcusable. Our Regent universities, respected worldwide, seem to have become infiltrated with cronyism appointments and business takeovers.

And jobs. Because our nation’s economy is strong, Iowa’s unemployment is down, but there are still too many unemployed or underemployed. How do you pass a “gas tax” for crumbling transportation infrastructure, and then lay-off state transportation workers the very next year?! How do you give over $150 million in tax incentives to an Egyptian chemical plant, and then offer millions more in attempts to “attract” Pioneer world headquarters to Iowa after they have already been here for decades? And please, someone tell me, how do you propose to spend $80 million on a partial renovation of the state historical building for a courtyard, while dozens of small towns across Iowa have crumbling infrastructure needs?

We need Iowa jobs. We need sustainable and good paying jobs that can’t be outsourced, such as the strong wind industry in Iowa that I helped bring about. We need strong agricultural markets, here and abroad, large and small, supporting livestock, grains, and community-supported fruit and vegetable production. We need a strong quality of life and a free-minded educated workforce, attracting worldwide IT and technology growth companies.

And lastly, we need a plan. For too long, Iowa government seems to be running by the seat of their pants. Decisions are top-down, short-sighted, driven by big money and cronyism, and not even properly vetted within their own party! While an executive leader within Iowa, I have led multiple efforts at lean and efficient government, coalition-driven solutions, bi-partisan successes, and transformative change. It can happen, if your executive is open-minded, sensitive to all parties needs, and driven to look for mutual and common-sense solutions.

I am not a politician. I have never run for political office. I know how Iowa government works, from the inside, and yet I am not beholden to any vested interests. Iowa deserves inspired leadership, hardworking team efforts, and a skilled, calm, and firm hand at the wheel. And, if given the opportunity in November of 2018, I plan to give Iowa all it deserves in being its next Governor.

Richard Leopold