Following his meeting with constituents at Bud's Caf on Monday, Senate candidate Mark Jacobs stopped by the Estherville News to talk more about his campaign.
"It's been a privilege to go around and meet so many wonderful people," he said.
Jacobs said he decided to run for the Senate seat, being vacated by Tom Harkin, because he's very concerned about the direction of the country.
When citizens look at the government in Washington, they see a lot of partisanship.
"We need a different type of person in Washington," he said. "We have a divided government. I want to make progress and find the way to common ground and get things done."
During his campaign, several people have asked what sets him apart from the other Republican candidates seeking the Senate seat.
"I think it's my leadership and experience," he said.
Jacobs was brought in as the CEO of Reliant Energy.
"When I joined, they were on the verge of bankruptcy and $6 billion in debt," he said.
Jacobs was determined not to let the company fail.
"There were a couple things I wasn't go to compromise on, but I listened and we worked together and we came up with a solution that worked for both the company and the banks," he said.
Looking at the country, Jacobs sees one of the core problems is the lack of good jobs. He send there are 6 percent fewer Americans employed than there were in 2007.
"I want to create better opportunities for better jobs," he said.
The first thing is to focus on education-in particular at the community college and vocational schools.
"The availability of jobs is only part of the problem. The fact is that workers don't have the proper skills to fill many of the jobs that are currently available," said Jacobs. "However, we can begin closing the skills gap by providing community colleges and vocational schools with the resources they need to train our workforce and by supporting those individuals who wish to improve their skills so that they can get a better-paying job."
Another one of Jacobs' key points is increased energy production including the development of wind resources.
"We need to develop energy resources in America," he said. "They're both a good source of jobs and it will help keep energy prices low."
Concerning the farm bill, which recently passed the Senate, Jacobs said he supports it. (Editor's note: President Barack Obama signed the farm bill on Friday.)
"There were parts of it I don't like," he said. "I would've supported an amendment (Representative) Steve King had submitted. We owe it to family farmers in the state to support them and to reduce some of the inherent risk of farming. It's fairer for them if they can understand the rules."