GCDC’s Paxton to introduce Branstad at inauguration

Ken Paxton
Ken Paxton

Efforts to make Jefferson and Greene County the first Home Base Iowa community have garnered Ken Paxton, executive director of Greene County Development Corporation, a role in Gov Terry Branstad’s inauguration this Friday.

Paxton has the honor of introducing the governor at the swearing in ceremony at 4 pm at the capitol.

Paxton’s relationship with the governor began in the fall of 2013 after the governor announced his Home Base Iowa initiative. At the time, Paxton was looking at between 800 and 1,000 new jobs coming to the county and wondering how to attract people to fill them. Jefferson resident Jim Andrew is a college ROTC buddy of the governor, and he and Paxton went to Des Moines to talk about Home Base Iowa.

Home Base Iowa was more conceptual than actual. Paxton said he and Andrew met with the governor and “threw around some ideas” that were incorporated into Home Base Iowa. The form communities complete for consideration for Home Base Iowa designation was written by Paxton, and the incentive package Paxton developed for Greene County has become a model followed statewide. Paxton has become the go-to person for prospective Home Base Iowa communities; he has visited with more than 40 towns and counties on the subject.

Paxton said the governor is appreciative of his help in getting Home Base Iowa off the ground, and thinks that is why he was asked to do the introduction Friday.

Paxton was asked by Branstad to speak for three to five minutes. Paxton said he’ll talk about economic development in Greene County and how Home Base Iowa fits in. That will lead in to an introduction of “the greatest governor Iowa has ever had,” Paxton said, “a governor every veteran should be thankful for because of the work he, a veteran himself, has done for veterans.”

Paxton and his wife have also been invited to attend the inaugural ball Friday evening.

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