There are more than 150 student organizations for Grinnell College students to choose from, but one particular club at Grinnell hopes to garner a lot of attention and support in the final days of the semester. That club is Nathan Clubb ’11, a rising senior and native of Sigourney, Iowa, where he is set to be the Democratic candidate for the 76th District’s seat in the Iowa State House.
Clubb brings a working knowledge of American political systems, as he is majoring in political science, and understands rural life in Iowa, after growing up in Sigourney—a town of only 2,200 people just over an hour drive from Grinnell. But he is still a college student.
“The main reason I’m running is because I see that there are a lot of severe problems hurting rural communities … [such as] the declining population, as a result of a lack in opportunities,” Clubb said. “I have taken extensive economic coursework, which I think will be very useful … in politics. I believe that there are not enough politicians that have a proper understanding of economics.”
To outline his campaign agenda, Clubb proposed the four principle issues he planned to address when in office. First, he wants to focus on the creation of jobs in Iowa. Second, Clubb stresses the state’s infrastructure needs improvement and that such action would lead to other solutions. Third, he wants to improve the state’s education system, continuing positive strides it has made in recent years. Fourth, Clubb remarked that, of course, his first two propositions would be very expensive, but he does not intend to raise taxes. Instead, he wants to re-examine the state’s budget to determine what expenditures can be cut to make room for newer policies.
Despite Clubb’s party affiliation, the Grinnell College Campus Democrats (GCCD) has, due to the group’s policies, neither endorsed Clubb as their choice for the 76th District, nor fully committed to working on Clubb’s campaign.
“We don’t formally endorse candidates till after the primary, to ensure that we are endorsing the nominees of the Democratic Party,” said Phil Sletten ’11, the co-chair of the GCCD. “While we will be supporters of Nathan … we also have a lot of other races to worry about—including those that directly affect Grinnell.”
The primary will not be an issue for long though, because Clubb is running uncontested. Furthermore, Sletten said that he did, indeed, prefer Clubb to the 76th district’s incumbent, Republican Betty R. De Boef. Sletten expressed disenchantment with De Boef’s past service, reflecting his broader vision for the future of Iowa politics.
“Having a mixture of voices, especially having young voices, in the State House is something Grinnell College students would appreciate,” Sletten said.
Sletten explains that although Clubb is a student at Grinnell, a member of the GCCD, and the candidate Sletten supports for the 76th District, the district does not include the Grinnell College community, which is the focus of the GCCD. But the district includes Keokuk County, Iowa County and a significant portion of Poweshiek County, and the issues plaguing the two communities seem similar.
Their most similar issue is the lagging agrarian economies of both regions. So as one might expect, the GCCD and Clubb echoed the Iowa Democratic Party in declaring their unifying objective: keeping rural economies afloat.
At 10:00 a.m. tomorrow in Saint’s Rest, Clubb will deliver a speech and meet with members of the community to discuss any issues important to them.