WEB EXCLUSIVE! Simpson Alumni run for political offices

by Mindy Marks

Two Simpson alumni, Doug Shull and John Norris, will be on the Nov. 5 ballot as candidates for political offices.

“I have put a lot of effort in and will hopefully get good results,” said Shull regarding his campaign.

Shull is currently an adjunct professor at Simpson. He teaches Principles of Accounting I and is a republican campaigning to for the Iowa State Senate. Shull believes his strong accounting background would help stabilize the state’s budget.

He hopes to stir economic development in Iowa to help keep young people here. Shull recognizes that Iowa must create an attractive environment to help with the retention of recent graduates.

Shull was a part of the Iowa Senate in both 1978 and 1980. At that time he had young children and said he would wait until they were grown to continue his political career. Still, Shull says that his greatest challenge is balancing his time between his job, family and campaign.

Shull is also busy with his commitment to education. As a graduate of Simpson College, Shull serves on the board of trustees and on the Des Moines Area Community College board.

Regarding his campaign, Shull thinks the biggest difference he has seen in campaigning since the 70’s and 80’s is in mailing strategies. Now candidates are able to target more specific audiences through direct mail.

His personable manor has attracted many Simpson students to help with his campaign.

“He is a brilliant, generous, kind-hearted man who seems to know everyone everywhere we go,” said senior Michelle Mapel. He is genuinely in this for the people and issues that we deal with day today. I have gained a great deal of people skills and a better knowledge of politics through helping with the Shull campaign.”

Mapel and several other Simpson students have assisted by going door to door to talk with residents about the campaign, walking in parades and attending social benefits.

Another alumni campaign has attracted student support. John Norris, a 1981 Simpson graduate, is a democrat running for the United States Congress in the fourth district.

“I hear Iowans say they are tired of the same routine in Washington. When elected to Congress, I will work hard to find sensible solutions to deal with problems facing our state and our country,” said Norris on his campaign website, http://www.norrisforcongress.com.

Norris would like to see corporations being held to higher standards and taking more responsibility.

He also hopes to protect and strengthen social security, along with lowering the prescription drug costs.

“It makes politics a little more interesting knowing that you have a connection to them [the alumni],” said junior Stacey Palmer.