He will run against Democrat Tim Gannon in November
By Diego Flammini
Iowa Republicans have selected their party representative in the race to become the state’s next Secretary of Agriculture.
Incumbent Mike Naig, who Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed as ag secretary in March, won party support during a June 16 convention. He received 647 votes, defeating Ray Gaesser, chairman of the American Soybean Association, who received 548 votes.
“It’s critically important that we maintain conservative leadership at the Department of Ag and in the secretary’s office, and we must put our best foot forward in a very competitive race against a Democrat,” Naig said during the convention.
Naig is running on a platform focused on the “future of agriculture,” his campaign website says.
His plans include improving water quality and stewardship, promoting careers in agriculture, and expanding markets and trade. Increased trade also means protecting Iowa farmers from tariffs.
“What we’ve been trying to do with the Trump administration is to encourage them to negotiate quickly, with some urgency, to resolve the issues that are real but in a way that prevents coming into effect,” he told Local 5 news after winning the nomination.
Naig will run against Tim Gannon, a former USDA administrator, in November.
Gannon issued a statement congratulating Naig on his victory and looks forward to campaigning for the privilege to support Iowa producers.
“I am excited to continue traveling throughout Iowa to discuss the issues that matter to Iowans,” his statement said, the Quad-City Times reports. “Now, more than ever, we must work to advocate for Iowa farmers and others who depend on a strong agricultural economy.”