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Jacobs offers business insight during campaign for U.S. Senate seat

What sets Mark Jacobs apart from the other candidates who are running to fill U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin’s, D-Iowa, open seat in the 2014 election?

According to Jacobs, 51, a Republican from West Des Moines who is married with three children, it’s fiscal leadership and experience.

“I think it’s important we send people to Washington who have experience with these types of issues,” Jacobs said during a telephone interview with the Osceola Sentinel-Tribune Feb. 24.

Business experience

One thing Jacobs said he knows about is inheriting a “fiscal mess.”

Jacobs’ website biography states he was previously chief-executive officer (CEO) of electric-energy company Reliant Energy. He originally joined Reliant as chief-financial officer in 2002 when it was near bankruptcy.

Jacobs was a part of a team that managed a turnaround that saved the company. In 2007, at the age of 45, he was named CEO, one of the youngest at the helm of a Fortune 500 company.

“The most important thing to know about me is I’m a business guy,” Jacobs said.

Campaign trail

Even though he has never held a political office before, Jacobs said he is hoping to bring his experience to the U.S. Senate.

For his campaign, Jacobs embarked on a 99-county tour of Iowa and visited Osceola Feb. 25.

Jacobs said he has concerns the country is on the “wrong track,” which includes the amount of families on food stamps and the amount of partisanship within the government.

He said he believes there is too much name calling and not enough listening in Washington, D.C.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that our current elected leaders are incapable of solving problems,” Jacobs said. “... For the first time in the history of our country, people are concerned their children aren’t going to have the same opportunities they have had.”

Political goals

As for Jacobs’ goals, he wants to help create a better economic environment and get a higher percentage of people back in the workforce. This will mean creating more job opportunities, as well as dealing with the nation’s deficit and growing national debt.

According to Jacobs, it’s easy to work in business with people who are like-minded, but it’s more challenging, as well as rewarding, when two parties work together to accomplish goals.

“My focus is on working with people to get things done,” Jacobs said.

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