Iowa has beautiful landscapes, lakes, rivers and streams. We should keep it that way! For two decades, Rich Leopold worked as a conservationist – the great outdoors was his “office.” And when not at work, he’s often found with his family out on the water, hiking in the woods or on the prairie, or exploring Iowa on his motorcycle. When he gets up every day, he would prefer to be outside.

Widely recognized as Iowa’s leader on conservation, Rich Leopold was asked to come to the capital city, to lead of one of the most important agencies in state government. From 2007-2010, he directed the Department of Natural Resources. He led more than 1,100 people – and consistently balanced his $200 million budget – as a steward not only of Iowa’s land, air, and water, but of taxpayer dollars.

To Rich, “Let’s Go Outside” means many things: outside the ineffective political system, outside the current angry rhetoric, outside in the literal sense of enjoying our outdoors.

He came to Des Moines to serve. Ten years later, he left our state better than he found it. He made our government more responsive to Iowans, and also more effective. He is different from the people at the State Capitol – he’s never run for office and is truly and outsider. But – the truth is, in order for all of us to enjoy the outside, someone has to go to work on the inside.


Iowa has been governed by the insider elite political class for too long. Maybe they’re doing their best, but results are what matter, not intentions. The solution is very simple. Rich Leopold believes it is time for politics as usual to end! The people of Iowa get to decide our future, not the lobbyists, special interests, and the insider’s club that for far too long have run our government.

Iowans pride ourselves on using common sense, but that isn’t breaking through up at the capitol. Rich Leopold believe it’s time for a clean slate. He is free from the generations of deal-making and permanent campaigning that has poisoned the capitol. In this era of expensive consultants, corporate lobbyists and powerful special interests hurting regular Iowans, common sense alone is not enough. It’s time we all got to work!


Iowans are a deeply caring people who believe in taking care of one another. We are one state, whether we live on a farm, in a small town, or in a suburb of Des Moines. Rich Leopold believes that we are neighbors who deserve a different kind of government – one based in competence and forever working toward justice, compassion, and decency.

Rich Leopold knows we can do better, because he’s seen the best in Iowans. He believes it’s time our voices are heard once again. Our values are faith, family, and love, and include statements such as “We don’t give up” and “We can fix it.” Iowa has provided Rich and his wife, Kathleen, a strong, stable place to raise their children, to work, to play, and to worship. For Rich, there is nothing nobler than caring for the land that cares for you – this is his heart’s calling.


Elected politicians and unelected influence-peddlers have made things very difficult for Iowans. Just look around – is Iowa truly ‘open for business’ when thousands of Iowans are being forced to leave the state to find work? Is there a future for our economy when business owners struggle to find decent, skilled employees? Can we afford to send our kids to college, when our wages are among the lowest in the country?

We have the power to change things – because in Iowa, we don’t settle. We don’t settle for filthy water in our streams, rivers, and lakes. We don’t settle for our farms and farm communities that seem to be under constant threat. We don’t settle for sitting idly by while rural counties bleed out their population and lose their small-town schools and medical facilities. We don’t settle for roads and bridges that are falling apart.

Iowa needs a governor who can bring everyone to the table – urban and rural, business and government, Democrats and Republicans, Independents (and people with a Libertarian streak, who will challenge ineffective politicians). We need to get government out of business affairs while ensuring that businesses benefit Iowa citizens. Rich is bringing these topics forward not to frighten, but to acknowledge the issues facing our state so we can finally address and solve them.

Iowa is changing very rapidly, and Iowans sense it slipping away. We are being told, in all corners of the state, the only way to get to tomorrow is to run from our past – of neighbor helping neighbor – and to look after only ourselves. We’re at a crossroads. A way of life is at stake. Rich Leopold believes NOW is the time for us to remember who we are as Iowans! He knows it is going to take all of us, pulling in the same direction, to give Iowa back to Iowans and steer the state we love back to recovery. Let’s do this!