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      Iowa gov candidates focus on soldiers, veterans

      Veterans and people serving in the military make up less than 10 percent of Iowa's population, but they're drawing lots of attention from the candidates for governor.

      Democratic Gov. Chet Culver says issues surrounding veterans and military families are among his top priorities. Republican Terry Branstad formed a Veterans for Branstad committee and says he's the only candidate who served in the military.

      GOP candidate Bob Vander Plaats notes he named a retired brigadier general in the Iowa Army National Guard as one of the top advisers.

      Political analysts say there are several reasons for the emphasis, but one big factor is many veterans are seniors, and older people tend to vote. Voters also value military service, so they appreciate politicians who look out for soldiers.

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