Krause hopes to fill vacuum in governor's race created by Olson's exit

'I've turned from a dark horse into a horse'

James Q. Lynch
Published: December 18 2013 | 7:03 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 1:00 am in
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Unlike others who downplay the impact of Rep. Tyler Olson’s exit from the Iowa gubernatorial race, Bob Krause believes its significance is “huge.”

“It’s a sea change,” the former state legislator said Tuesday evening. “I’ve turned from a dark horse to a horse.”

Olson’s decision to drop out of the race for the 2014 Democratic nomination for governor to focus on his family as he and his wife proceed with a divorce creates a vacuum – and an opportunity, Krause said.

Spokespersons for the campaigns of Democrat Sen. Jack Hatch of Des Moines and Republican Gov. Terry Branstad of Boone insisted that Olson’s departure didn’t change their plans for the race.

Krause has run a low-budget campaign relying on volunteers rather than paid staff.

“I’ve probably been outspent 100- or 200-to-1,” said Krause, who was traveling on business Tuesday. “This is a turning point.”

Krause, 63, is calling for a strategy of addressing Iowa’s weaknesses in hopes of turning them around and making the state stronger. He wants to develop a 10-year benchmark plan to get Iowa into the top 10 among states in various categories, such as economic performance, the environment and education. Chief among those strategies will be raising Iowans’ incomes so Iowans are more self-supporting and less in need of welfare.

Although his low-key campaign has resulted in little attention, the former transportation think tank director says recent polls show his approach has been working.

An Iowa Poll showed his favorability rating higher among Iowa voters than those of either Hatch or Olson. A Quinnipiac University poll released Dec. 17 found him getting 31 percent of the vote against Branstad, compared to Hatch and Olson getting 33 and 32 percent, respectively.

“I’ve been more successful than people realize,” Krause said.

So he plans to spend time over the Christmas holiday thinking about the best way to proceed.

“One thing is to determine whether there is an upper limit to what I’ve been doing,” Krause said.

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