1. CAMPAIGN 2014:
Iowa's leading ethanol champion sets sights on a congressional seat
Monte Shaw is a rare breed: a conservative who is quick to criticize the oil industry. As executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Shaw has pulled off publicity stunts to bash the "petroleum mandate," his term for the de facto mandate from the subsidies that the oil industry receives. But Shaw also supports the Keystone XL pipeline and wants an all-of-the-above energy policy. He's conservative in other issues and wants to drive the conversation toward the federal debt. That breed of Republicanism, combined with top-notch agriculture credentials, may well play out in Shaw's favor in Iowa, the nation's No. 1 ethanol-producing state. Shaw is running to fill the seat of Tom Latham (R-Iowa), who in December unexpectedly announced he would retire from Congress after 10 terms.