Dr. Glenn Hurst, a family physician in the small town of Minden, kicked off his campaign to be the Democrat’s nominee for Chuck Grassley’s Senate seat Sunday evening through a virtual rally.
“Though my name is on the ballot, we are running for the U.S. Senate,” Hurst said. “This is our grassroots campaign. I ‘m just going to be the voice that carries it forward.” Hurst hopes to bring, “a really bold progressive message to all the people that are just going to bring the Democratic Party together for us.”
“It’s time to take Chuck Grassley’s vision for the past and throw it out and bring our vision for a future,” Hurst said.
His overarching objective is to save rural Iowa. According to him, Iowa is facing the, “death of our rural communities.” Too many rural communities are a dystopian prairie with, “no food, no clothing, no shelter,” and that means, “no survival.”
He describes an insufficient number of customers causing Tabor to lose its only grocery store, though Casey’s General Stores still operates a location along Main Street.
“No clothing,” means, “you are not going to find a store on Main Street, Small Town Iowa where you are going to buy clothes.” In Minden, people, “live in the store fronts because can’t attract any business.”
As a physician, Dr. Hurst sees shelter as access to affordable and convenient quality healthcare. He focuses on rural hospital obstetrics as a quality of life measure. “No young family is going to come to your community because they can’t have their child in their community.” Moreover, many rural Iowans have health insurance requiring them to see specific providers who can be up to forty-five minutes away and that requirement negatively impacts towns recruiting physicians.
With economics and access to healthcare, Hurst highlights poor water quality. At a recent fish fry, Hurst, “was afraid to eat the fish at the fish fry because I don’t know what water it was caught in.” He noted hunters concerned to send their retrievers after ducks in the water because the dog might get sick along with limits on recreational boating.
His major initiative is a comprehensive healthcare for all system, “where vision, dental, hearing, physical therapy, long-term care, in-patient hospitalization, outpatient services and general wellness services are bundled into one package and available to every person in this country.”
Additionally, he believes, “we can also create jobs on our Main Street and we should be creating jobs on our Main Street.”
Though the problem in some counties is simply not enough workers to fill the open positions. In these situation, Hurst looks towards immigration reform and the creation of programs administered through trade unions allowing foreign born people to move into rural communities to live and work.
“We should be able to have a thriving Main Street in rural Iowa and we don’t.”
But agriculture based jobs won’t be growing corn. Calling out the growing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, Hurst sees eliminating petroleum consumption and by extension ethanol production as necessary. Farmers, however, could change crops and, “take advantage of hemp so many different ways.”
His last major area is “wealth justice.” “In a country where we had wealth justice,” Dr. Hurst says, “we would be solving the cancer problem and not sending billionaires into space planes.”
In the Democratic nomination race for Senate, the three declared candidates occupy different lanes. Dave Muhlbauer touts his farm experience, Abby Finkenaur has the inside track with organized labor and Dr. Glenn Hurst hopes to rally the Progressive wing. Each offers a distinct choice and whomever wins telegraphs to the rest of the state where the Iowa Democratic Party average voter sits.
The primary is set for June 7 of next year.