Iowa Democrats may soon see a three-person primary for the 3rd Congressional District. Businessman Mike Sherzan is strongly considering a bid for the seat currently held by first-term Republican David Young. Jim Mowrer and Desmund Adams announced campaigns for the Democratic nomination earlier this year.
“I’m at the exploratory phase of looking at this,” Sherzan told Starting Line when contacted today about his interest in the 3rd. “We’re in the process of talking with constituents and we’re getting some very positive interaction with them … We’re getting a lot of people that would actually like to see more people in the race.”
Sherzan briefly launched a campaign for the 3rd district in early 2013, but withdrew after about two months, citing health issues. This time he says he’s better prepared if he were to try again, having recently passed off his duties as president of his investments and finance company off to a colleague.
He’s had some discussions with Democrats in the district and potential supporters, including speaking with the DCCC about a potential bid, and is now nearing the end of the exploratory process.
“Support of the middle class is my primary issue,” Sherzan said if he were to run. “The main issue is the huge gap in income, the middle class and those who can’t keep up income-wise … The minimum wage is unbelievably low in my opinion, based on historic income levels that people should be receiving right now.”
“I’m a very big supporter of education,” he added. “What’s going on there with the debt incurred by students is something I’d focus on as well.”
Sherzan would be entering the race several months after the other candidates, one of which – Mowrer – has proven to be a strong fundraiser in the past and has already racked up many endorsements throughout the 3rd District and Iowa. But in 2013 Sherzan was seen as an intriguing candidate as he could potentially self-fund part of his campaign.
“[Fundraising] would be a strong effort on my part,” Sherzan confirmed. “I contributed in the prior race that I had, and I would always do that, would always support myself and what I believe in, as well as ask the voters to do the same if they believe in the same principles.”
A well-funded campaign would be crucial to Sherzan, who isn’t widely known yet among central or western Iowa Democrats. Starting Line has also heard that some influential central Iowa Democrats are still searching for an alternative candidate for the 3rd District, unhappy with the current options. Sherzan didn’t seem top on their list, though one of their potential recruits, former U.S. Attorney Nick Kleinfeldt, has said he’s still not interested.
From West Des Moines, Sherzan is a small business leader who has worked in financial services for well over three decades. He’s the chairman of BDFSC Holdings Corp., which operates a number of investment and securities businesses.
by Pat Rynard