Rod Blum

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, speaks with Daily Iowan reporters at his office in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington D.C. on March 17. (The Daily Iowan/Stacey Murray)

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, speaks with Daily Iowan reporters at his office in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington D.C. on March 17. (The Daily Iowan/Stacey Murray)

By Matthew Jack | matthewmjack@gmail.com

In an election year seized by “outside” candidates, U.S. Rep. Rod Blum, a Dubuque Republican, has positioned himself as Iowa’s outsider in Congress who will fight the status quo.

Blum said in a 2014 debate that he was “proud not to be a politician. I’m a pragmatic businessman. I’m a problem-solver.”

A Dubuque native and Loras College graduate, Blum earned an MBA from the University of Dubuque and started a career in the software industry, climbing the ladder to eventually become the CEO of Eagle Point Software, a Dubuque-based company where he and his wife, Karen, and five children reside.

Rod Blum Age: 61  Hometown: Dubuque Education: Loras College, University of Dubuque  Family: Wife, Karen; 5 children, Tanner, Taylor, Malcolm, Trevor, Sophie

Rod Blum
Age: 61
Hometown: Dubuque
Education: Loras College, University of Dubuque
Family: Wife, Karen; 5 children, Tanner, Taylor, Malcolm, Trevor, Sophie

Blum served as the Dubuque County GOP chair prior to his Congressional run, and after winning the district’s Republican primary election, Blum beat Murphy by a 2-point margin.

In addition to his political career, Blum was a columnist for the Telegraph-Herald in Dubuque, and volunteered as a basketball coach for Dubuque Senior High, his alma mater.

For his work in building up Eagle Point Software from just five employees into a publicly traded company employing 325 — which begot his own business venture, Digital Canal — he was named the 1994 Iowa Entrepreneur of the Year.

For his staunchly conservative stance on gun owner’s rights and abortion, Blum received the NRA’s endorsement in 2014 and holds a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee. He supports defunding Planned Parenthood and opposes the Affordable Care Act in favor of free-market options and Health Savings Accounts.

A self-described climate change skeptic, he said regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency stifle the agricultural and energy industries and opposes federal energy subsidies in general, but would support the Renewable Fuel Standard — hugely popular among Iowa’s corn producers — for as long as fossil fuels continue to also be subsidized.

Blum supports Donald Trump’s candidacy for president, saying he believes voters “want to have straight talking candidates, straight talking elected officials, who are actually going to get things done instead of always just talking about things.”