Meet Chuck Larson
son of Charles and Ellen Larson, Chuck was born in Newton, Iowa on April 1,
1968. When Chuck was 12 years old and his sister, Carrie, was 10, his
father was called to Saudi Arabia to help that kingdom establish their
Highway Patrol system.
"I’ll never forget traveling non-stop and without sleep for
twenty-four hours, finally arriving in Riyadh and going to bed at three in
the morning, and then being awakened from a dead sleep at 5:00 AM to the
blaring sound of loudspeakers calling the Muslims to prayer in Arabic. At
first I thought a military coup was underway! As a twelve year old kid, my
two years in Saudi Arabia gave me a window on the world to study that
culture, learn to speak a little Arabic and realize about how great it is
to have the wonderful opportunities that come with living in America."
Importance of Education
Then it was back to Iowa to finish high school interspersed with a year
abroad in Corsica, France to study French. In 1986, his family moved to
Cedar Rapids and Chuck enrolled in the University of Iowa to study
international business. He set a personal goal of achieving a 4.0 grade
point average and he accomplished it, earning his BA in Economics in 1992,
graduating with distinction, and earning Phi Beta Kappa honors. While
attending the University of Iowa as an undergraduate, a law student, and
since achieving his law degree, Chuck Larson has been a member of the
United States Army.
"My father is the #1 hero in my life. No one has done more to teach
and influence me, guide and work with me than my father has. He’s a
tremendous friend and mentor. The one thing he strongly urged me to do was
join the Army. He retired from the Army Reserves as a full Colonel in 1988.
My father swore me into the military in 1987."
Serving our Country
During his 13 years in the service, Chuck attended Airborne and
Pathfinder Schools and has recently transferred to the JAG Corp.
Army teaches its young lieutenants how to lead," says Larson.
"Leadership is not about pulling rank or barking out orders. It’s about
persuading, encouraging, and inspiring others to realize their full
potential. During military training exercises we’d go for five straight
days on one meal a day and we’d get two hours of sleep at night if we were
lucky. Plus we’d have 12-mile road marches on top of that. You know that
it’s the toughest thing you’ll ever face in your life and once you achieve
that, you know you can accomplish anything. That experience has helped me
campaign as hard as I do."
start of Chuck’s career in elective politics began with friends discussing
state government and the alarming exodus of Iowa’s young people in search
of jobs. It was 1992, and that’s when Chuck Larson decided to run for the
State Legislature against a two-term incumbent. Although he was aiming for
a career in international business, Chuck promised to stay in Iowa and work
to create a better business climate for Iowa’s small business owners,
family farmers, professionals, and young people.
characteristic fashion, Chuck threw himself wholeheartedly into his
District 55 campaign for the Iowa House of Representatives. He knocked on
every door in the district. And when he was finished, he went back and did
it again. Red and white Larson yard signs blanketed the district. Following
Governor Terry Branstad’s adage that, "The harder you work, the
luckier you get," Chuck Larson mounted one of the most aggressive and
effective grassroots campaign in modern Iowa history on his way to a 64%
upset over a popular, entrenched Democratic incumbent.
Gaining strength in 94, 96, 98 and 2000, Chuck campaigns aggressively
and attracts a legion of dedicated volunteers. Asked about the
"secret" of successful candidates, Larson says, "Winning
candidates take the time to listen, understand, and care. If you have those
ingredients combined with a strong work ethic and a clear, compelling
message, you will win.
the Iowa State Legislature, Representative Larson has established a solid
and impressive record of leadership. Rising quickly through the ranks,
Chuck took charge of the Economic Development Committee where he led the
way for tort reform to help businesses grow and prosper. Now serving as
Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Chuck puts his legal training and life
experience as the former Jones County Assistant Prosecutor to spearhead
legislation that cracks down on methamphetamine dealers and enforces tough
penalties for drunk drivers.
"The best feeling you can have is when you help someone here at
home. It doesn’t have to be the most important bill but sometimes the
"smallest" bill can have the most impact on people’s lives, like
the help we gave local hospitals. You’ll never forget helping those
families," says Larson.
In 2000, his colleagues asked Chuck to take charge and protect the Iowa
State Legislature’s Republican majority. In his capacity as Legislative
Campaign Committee Chairman, Chuck worked hard, criss-crossing the state to
recruit top-quality candidates and talk about our vision for Iowa’s future
– good jobs, lower taxes, safe streets, and world-class schools.
Republican Party Leadership
In January 2001, Chuck was unanimously elected as Chairman of the
Republican Party of Iowa. He was re-elected for a second term in January
2003. Chuck and his team have been nationally recognized for developing
innovative programs to communicate our message to grassroots activists,
volunteers, and campaigns across Iowa. Chuck has taken his trademark
hard-work ethic and is focused on ensuring our state is organized and
poised for victory in 2004.
Chuck is General Counsel for the ESCO Group, a 21st Century business
that provides leading edge technical solutions to business and industry
nationwide and internationally. The ESCO Group, employing over 250 people, offers
electrical installation and engineering, plant automation, and software
Importance of Family
and Jen met at the University of Iowa and have been married for seven
years. Jen hails from Atlantic, Iowa, and works as a Claim Representative
for the State Farm Insurance Company. They live at 2214 Evergreen Street,
NE in Cedar Rapids and their telephone number is 319-393-6330.
Representative Chuck Larson is 34 years old.
Chuck is a member of the American Legion (Hanford Post #5), and he and
Jen are members of the First Lutheran Church.
He has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, the South Pacific,
North Africa, Canada, Mexico, South America, and the United States.
Chuck collects historical autographs and his collection includes
Presidents Herbert Hoover, Rutherford B. Hayes, and every President from Richard
Nixon to George W. Bush.
His favorite artist is Iowa's Grant Wood
His all-time favorite novel is Ayn Rand’s "The
His favorite living novelist is Frank Conroy.
Hobbies: Climbing, hiking, reading, and his 5:30 a.m. three-mile