Former field conservationist Rich Leopold announced his candidacy for Governor today at a community center in Huxley with the message that Iowa is in need of a political outsider to rebuild our state’s future.
“It is the time for Iowans to remember who we are,” said Leopold. “We are neighbors who want a different kind of government, one that works for justice, compassion, and decency. It’s time that Iowans’ voices are heard once again in the Capitol.”
Leopold, speaking at the Nord Kalsem Community Center in Huxley, the small town where the Leopolds raised their family, made it clear that he believes it is time to go outside the current field of politicians and insiders that aren’t working for Iowa, and to look outside for leadership.
“I came to Des Moines to serve. I believe I made our government both more responsive to Iowans and also more effective,” said Leopold, formerly the Director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “I’m different from the people at the State Capitol. I’ve never run for office – that makes me literally an outsider.”
Rich Leopold is married to Kathleen, a teacher. They have two grown children and three grandchildren together. An avid outdoorsman, he has worked for over 30 years in the field of conservation. Leopold was the Director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources from 2007-2010 and was Midwest Assistant Regional Director for Science Applications with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office in Minnesota.
He was also the Executive Director of the Iowa Environmental Council and has held a variety of positions within the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Minnesota, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources and served as the coordinator for Iowa’s statewide volunteer water quality monitoring program. Currently Leopold serves as the Polk County Conservation Board’s Deputy Director.
Rich Leopold also released the “Four Cornerstones” which would define his role as governor. You can find those in their raw form at the link.
Absent any primary challengers, Leopold will face incoming Republican Governor Kim Reynolds in 2018.
A video of the announcement can be found on the candidate’s Facebook page.