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ST. ANSGAR | Small businessman and Mitchell County Farm Bureau Board Vice President Waylon Brown recently announced he is running for the Iowa Senate. Brown, a Republican, is seeking the Senate District 26 seat, which represents all of Chickasaw, Floyd, Howard, Mitchell and Worth counties and portions of Cerro Gordo and Winneshiek counties. The seat is held by Mary Jo Wilhelm, D-Cresco.

Brown, a St. Ansgar High School graduate, owns a construction company and also farms. He sits on the St. Ansgar Planning and Zoning Board. Brown and his wife Julie have two children. His children and their future were among the deciding factors for entering the Senate District 26 race, Brown said.

“Our parents taught us it is important to leave something in better condition than we received it, and that is my plan for the future of our state,” Brown said. “For my seven-year-old twins and all of Iowa’s children, I am running to give them the same opportunities we enjoyed growing up in Iowa. We received the best education in America, exciting career opportunities in our own state and tax climate that made us want to stay to raise our families. Unfortunately, our state now ranks among the least tax friendly states in the U.S., we face a skilled labor shortage and we no longer lead the way in education. Those opportunities we enjoyed are causing today’s young people to leave Iowa. I want to play a role in reversing those trends.”

Reversing those trends requires providing students the education to compete in a global economy, being fiscally responsible and giving job creators the necessary tools to grow the private sector workforce.

“Agriculture is Iowa’s number one industry and our small business owners create a majority of jobs in our state,” Brown said. “Due to the downturn in the agricultural industry, we face a reality of less money being available in our state budget. It is vital we approach state spending with sound and responsible accounting practices as well as assist job creators in developing new career opportunities for all Iowans. These factors will help grow and strengthen our economy.”

Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix, R-Shell Rock, said Brown’s agriculture and small business background will serve his district well.

“Waylon brings valuable farming and business experience to this race,” Senator Dix said. “He is someone north central Iowa residents can depend upon to be their voice in the Iowa Statehouse.”

Representative Josh Byrnes, R-Osage, said he welcomes the opportunity to work with Brown in the state legislature.

"Waylon will protect rural Iowa, and will fight to keep our main streets vibrant,” Byrnes said. “Waylon will be a strong voice for Iowa agriculture and small business. I look forward to having Waylon represent my family and I in the State Senate."

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