Bill Northey first ran for public office in the horrible Republican year of 2006. He was able to win with 51 percent of the vote. That doesn’t sound like too much but remember Culver won with 54 percent. He is a very likeable guy with very few enemies.
Northey is a unique candidate who hasn’t campaigned on his inner conservative beliefs but at the same time, conservatives love him. He’s done a great job as Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, especially with the floods of 2008, as Flyover Boys pointed out a few days ago.
One of Northey’s strongest attributes is his ability to be a servant, not a politician. If he were to run for governor, I don’t know how long he could hold on to that. What we haven’t been able to witness yet is if Northey has the killer instinct successful politicians must have. Northey’s a gentleman, genuinely nice person, and very intelligent. In another post or comment on the topic recently, someone said he’d need a stylist to keep him well dressed and coifed. It’s true. But I don’t consider that a disqualifier for Iowa’s highest office.
None of us know how seriously Northey is actually considering running, though he left the door open per a recent interview. If he would, I’m positive he’d have a great chance at taking both the primary and general elections. He would definitely have to convince some right wingers who don’t know him he’s an authentic conservative but I don’t think he’d have a problem doing that. He would also have to convince us his candidacy would be worth taking a risk on and possibly having a wacky liberal as our new Secretary of Agriculture.
With Northey’s addition in our possibles list, Republicans should be smiling. We’ve got a great bench here in Iowa, we just need to get on an even playing field again.