Candidate for U.S. Senate Bruce Braley visited Webster City on Friday afternoon as part of a series of meet and greet events across north-central Iowa.
Braley, currently the U.S. Representative for Iowa's first congressional district, visited with several community members at Lomitas and addressed their questions and concerns. He said many Iowans expressed a desire to end partisan gridlock in Washington.
"I think what you hear from people all around Iowa is a strong desire for congress to put aside its partisan bickering and come together to solve the tough problems we face," Braley said. "The number one thing I hear from people is they want elected officials who are going to go to work, solve tough problems and do the things that Iowans do in their home communities every day."
U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, running for U.S. Senate, talks with community members at Lomitas on Friday.
Braley said he is familiar with Webster City, as he is friends with Sue Haynes who he described as the most decorated girls track athlete in the town's history. As such, he is familiar with the town's plight following the closure of Electrolux. He said he is concerned that there has been no focus on a national manufacturing strategy that can make the U.S. Competitive with other nations.
"Communities like Webster City and Hamilton County depend upon good paying jobs to attract and keep people, and young people in particular, in their communities and offer them a chance to live the American dream which Iowa has always been about," Braley said.
Braley said he currently represents a district that has a large manufacturing base, and that Iowa has to have a diversified economy, apart from just agriculture, to prosper. However, he also expressed disappointment that the farm bill in the last congress was unable to reach the floor in the House. He said he tried to force the bill to a vote, but was unsuccessful. Still, he remains optimistic that House leadership will allow the bill to reach the floor in the coming session.
"Farmers and people who depend on agriculture want that five-year road map to plan and prepare for the future," Braley.
Braley is seeking a seat in the U.S. Senate in the coming elections because he said he will have a greater opportunity to shape policy, including foreign policy, approving appointments and serving on more committees.
"I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to have a broader impact on a wide range of policy issues, but also be able to do what I consider one of the most important parts of my job and that's constituent services," Braley said. "When people get frustrated with what's going on in Washington, they sometimes forget that helping people with social security benefits, veteran's disability benefits and getting grant assistance for communities like Webster City is one of the most vital things we do that's rarely featured on the nightly news."
In north-central Iowa, Braley also hosted events in Hampton, Clarion, Humbolt and Iowa Falls.