After a 15-hour day at the Iowa State Capitol Tuesday, Rep. Rob Taylor climbed aboard his tractor and made his way through a nearly deserted downtown Des Moines toward home.
The Republican from West Des Moines opted to trade in his usual ride for the tractor, just for the day, to honor his grandfather’s 84th birthday and to show that many Iowans, no matter where they live, still have rural roots.
“It could be argued on just about every budget we have up here that there’s an urban versus rural divide,” he said. “And I think there’s a number of us up here – and I would include myself in that category – that have experience in both urban and rural. And I think we’re the bridge builders.”
The tractor – a bright orange, freshly painted Allis Chalmers WD – is the same model he drove on the family farm in Osceola, he said. He and his sons worked to restore the one he rode Tuesday.
It took him about 85 minutes maxing out at 11 miles an hour to get to and from the Capitol.
“I did that frankly for my grandfather and then just to remind people that there are some urban legislators like I am that have rural backgrounds and rural roots,” he said. “And I thought nothing would be a better tribute to farmers than to drive in on a tractor.”