National debt primary concern for U.S. Congress candidate

Marshalltown attorney Gail Boliver said the National Debt should be priority No. 1 with Washington lawmakers.

The debt is one of the biggest concerns he has heard on his campaign trail for a U.S. House seat.

“That’s the biggest threat we have to our country,” Boliver said at a weekly meeting of the Marshall County Pachyderm Club Friday at Cecil’s Cafe. “I think we need to get a grasp on our budget.”

Boliver announced late last year his intention to run for Congress in the 1st District. It’s an open seat as it’s currently held by Democrat Bruce Braley, who is running for U.S. Senate this year.

Since his announcement, Boliver has held meetings in 18 of the 20 counties in the 1st District.

“I’ve met a lot of folks and I think I’ve gotten a good reception,” Boliver said.

He said he doesn’t like the political maneuvering in Washington and pointed to the bickering over the debt ceiling and the government shutdown as two negative things.

“In my 30 years of litigation, it’s taught me to find common ground,” Boliver said.

Boliver will run in the June 3 primary against at least three other Republican candidates – businessman Rod Blum, of Dubuque, businessman Steve Rathje, of Cedar Rapids and Rep. Walt Rogers, R-Cedar Falls.

Boliver said his motto of being “fiscally conservative and socially moderate” sets him apart from the other Republican congressional candidates.

Boliver ran for Congress is 2002 losing to incumbent Tom Latham in the Republican primary. Though he lost by a big margin (88 percent to 12 percent), He said he learned about the process of running for office, which will help him with his current campaign.

He said much of his campaign work is ahead of him as he plans to be on the go throughout the vast district which stretches from Dubuque to Marshalltown.

“It’s a challenge,” Boliver said. “That what I thought it would be. Is it worthwhile? Yes.”