David Young wants to join his former boss in the United States Senate.
Young worked for seven years as the chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican who is Iowa's senior senator. That was the last position he held during a career as a Senate staffer that began in 1993.
He is now touting that experience as he campaigns for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat that U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat, will retire from at the end of next year.
''I know I can be effective for Iowa,'' he said Wednesday during a visit to Fort Dodge.
Young, an Iowa native, dismisses any suggestion that his long tenure in Washington may be a liability with some voters.
''I've been working for Iowa and I know Iowa,'' he said.
''When you're in an office every day working with Iowans, on the phone with Iowans, in meetings with Iowans hearing their problems and solutions and heartaches, you know what's going on here at home and you want to work all that much harder,'' he added.
The candidate said he would use his experience to tackle three deficits: one in the federal budget, one in jobs and one in trust and accountability.
''I'm an equal opportunity watchdog when it comes to the budget,'' he said.
To create jobs, Young said he favors reducing the corporate income tax rate.
He said Congress can use its oversight power to help restore trust and accountability in government. Referring to Grassley's track record on government oversight, Young said, ''I've learned from the master on that one.''
Young said he would support a farm bill that provides a limited but stable crop insurance fund.
He said the federal government needs to control the border and ensure that legal immigrants get top priority when applying for citizenship.
Young faces former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker and radio host Sam Clovis in the Republican primary.
U.S. Rep Bruce Braley, of Waterloo, is the only Democrat seeking the seat.