"NONE OF THE CANDIDATES KNOWS MORE ABOUT AGRICULTURE, THE ENVIRONMENT, THE
PROMISE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY OR THE ROOTS OF POPULISM IN THE IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY.”
- Art Cullen - Pulitzer Prize Winner - Storm Lake Times
JOHN NORRIS is a fifth generation Iowan, raised on the Montgomery County family farm his Great-great grandparents settled in 1881. Educated at Red Oak Community Schools, Simpson College and The University of Iowa College of Law, John benefited from having a strong family, a close-knit rural community and a world-class Iowa education. Growing up on the farm, John learned the value of hard work, a strong education, Iowa integrity, looking out for your neighbors and coming together as a community.
John has spent his life building solutions that get results for Iowans. After graduating from college, John worked for Tom Harkin. Concerned for family farmers struggling to survive, John became the State Director of the Iowa Farm Unity Coalition. John also owned and operated the Old Hotel restaurant in Greenfield.
When Leonard Boswell decided to run for Congress, he asked his friend John to manage that race and serve as his first chief of staff. John chaired the Iowa Democratic Party during Governor Vilsack’s historic win. Vilsack then appointed John chief of staff. John coordinated the hiring of Vilsack’s first cabinet and staff and helped balance the state’s budget. He chaired the governor’s electric restructuring committee, leading the development of legislation that resulted in Iowa’s now booming wind energy industry.
Vilsack would later appoint John to Chair the Iowa Utilities Board and Chief of Staff at the US Department of Agriculture in Washington DC. President Obama appointed John to serve as a commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. John focused on developing a cleaner, more efficient energy system for America. Then President Obama appointed him to represent the United States on agricultural policy at the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program in Rome, Italy.
John and his family returned home to Iowa. He is co-owner of State Public Policy Group. Every day he is working on issues that will make a positive difference for the people of Iowa. John and his wife Jackie live in Des Moines where they teach their three sons the lessons of community and selflessness that make Iowa such a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Jackie, a former public school teacher is now the CEO of Goodwill of Central Iowa. The Norris family volunteers with their Boy Scout Troop and are active in the Plymouth United Church of Christ. Jackie helps coordinate family volunteer trips to the Animal Rescue League and John coaches Little League baseball. They enjoy the outdoors, biking, camping, hiking, canoeing and fishing.