Berkshire Hathaway, Gateway founders weigh in on Iowa’s fifth

Matt Campbell, the Democrat who is running against Republican Congressman Steve King of Kiron in November, has a couple of big-name business types endorsing/investing in his campaign.  Read the releases below, along with a release about some other noteable endorsements.

Campbell Congressional Campaign Receives Warren Buffett Contribution

The Matt Campbell for Congress campaign has received a maximum $2400 individual contribution from Warren Buffett.  Mr. Buffett is the second billionaire to contribute to Matt Campbell’s campaign to be the next U.S. Representative for Iowa’s 5th District.  Norm Waitt, Jr. the co-founder of Gateway, Inc. of Gateway Computers fame previously provided a maximum contribution to the Campbell campaign.

Matt Campbell states, “Mr. Buffett’s contribution is not an endorsement, but I’m very appreciative to receive his financial support.  I hope others that want a new direction in western Iowa and better job development will follow suit.  We need to work smart to revitalize our rural communities and towns.”


Matt Campbell, the Democratic nominee working to oust incumbent Steve King has caught the attention of billionaire Norm Waitt, Jr.  Waitt is endorsing Matt Campbell to be the next U.S. Congressman in Iowa’s 5th District.

Norm Waitt, Jr. is a former co-founder of Siouxland’s Gateway, Inc.—one of the largest personal computer manufacturers in the world.  Waitt is a prolific businessman and his various portfolios of investments include billboards, television and radio stations, record labels and a feature-film company.

Campbell is advocating that the Congressional office has a much greater role to play in economic development in Western Iowa since the district is one of the most rural in America.  Campbell promises to work with regional economic development groups so that they annually identify the 50 fastest growing businesses in Western Iowa.  He asserts that individuals looking for work can then better learn of advancement opportunities and that businesses identified can secure better financing for growth. Campbell indicates he’s seen this technique work successfully elsewhere accelerate creation of good-paying jobs and that it will lead to new business creation as well. 

Campbell indicates he’s seen this technique work successfully elsewhere and relates, “The idea makes sense because we’re talking about private sector growth and the Congressional office merely acting as a facilitator of information to spur growth in the district.”

Campbell states, “Not only does Steve King vote against issues that positively affect middle class workers, veterans and seniors but he’s not engaged in the communities in Iowa’s 5th District in a productive way as I would be.  I recently was in Council Bluffs and community leaders there said they got a lot of lip-service but not much action.  I’m hearing the same across the district.”

On Wednesday, Mr. Waitt will co-host a house party for Matt Campbell’s Congressional campaign at the home of prominent Sioux City businessman Steve Avery.

Campbell says, “I’m honored to have the endorsement and support of Mr. Waitt in my campaign.  As an entrepreneur and successful businessman, Mr. Waitt’s great validation of my campaign ideas,” Campbell says.

“Mr. Waitt and I first met in 1991 when I organized a high school leadership conference through the Hugh-O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference at Morningside College.  Mr. Waitt was gracious enough then to be our keynote speaker, and I’m happy he’s still concerned about leadership in Western Iowa.”

From June 30, 2010:

Sioux City, IA — Matt Campbell, US House Democratic nominee for Iowa’s 5th District has received the endorsement of former state senator and lieutenant governor Art Neu.

Neu, a former Republican state senator and Lieutenant Governor, recently announced his support for Campbell’s congressional campaign against incumbent Steve King.

Campbell was honored by the endorsement saying that Mr. Neu’s support highlights his cross-party appeal and that he will win cross–over votes in November’s general election.

“Mr. Neu is a respected Iowa leader. I’m honored to have his support.”

“I believe Mr. Neu’s endorsement is a testament to the fact that Steve King has alienated his party, and voters on both sides of the aisle. Western Iowa wants a leader who will work for Iowan’s and I’m ready to do that” Campbell said.

Neu served as lieutenant governor from 1973 to 1979 and in the state senate from 1967 to 1972. He also served as the mayor of Carroll and currently serves as the Vice-Chair on the Iowa Public Radio Board of Directors.

Campbell has also received the endorsement of local Iowa hero Don Shaffer, a Korea and Vietnam war veteran and the real life inspiration for the character of “Radar” O’Reilly on the hit TV series M*A*S*H.

Born and raised in Ottumwa, Iowa, Shaffer spent 25 years in the military before becoming a college professor.

Campbell said he respects and admires Mr. Shaffer’s service to America.

“Don Shaffer’s service to our country and to our community is something I respect and admire. I will honor his service through my commitment to working for Iowa’s veterans and ensuring their needs are met,” Campbell said.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Dee Fife, KY HOBY Alumna says

    I saw your mention of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar. Are you a former LSC or alum? I’d be interested in learning more about your past and current involvement.