Photo by Duane Tinkey
Photo by Duane Tinkey
Creighton Cox landed in Greater Des Moines at age 11, but it wasn't long before his thoughts turned to the nation's capital.

"When I was 12 or 13, I can remember running around to my grandparents and my mom saying, 'I'll be president by the time I'm 41,'" Cox said. "I don't think I'll be running for president anymore, but I do appreciate the opportunity to serve."

Cox, 35, is director of governmental affairs for the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines.

By now, he says, the "message on the postcard" might have read that he was into his first term as U.S. senator after three terms as a U.S. representative. He would be planning that run for the White House.

But Cox knows things don't always work out as planned. He found at an early age that he was adept at meeting and greeting and making friends. He had to be. He was a military brat - born in New York, then living in Vermont, Alabama and Michigan before his parents returned to West Des Moines, their hometown, in 1986.

"Honestly, being a military brat has probably helped me. You just walk up to people and make friends. You talk to people, you learn about them; it's a lot like politics," he said.

Cox has not strayed far from politics. He is in constant contact with elected officials as he advances policy for the Home Builders Association. He was an office manager for former Kansas Sen. Robert Dole when Dole ran for president. He managed campaigns for David Oman and Rep. Tom Latham.

He is a member of the Leadership Urbandale class of 2010, and his resume lists memberships in a variety of home building organizations, including the Green Building Council of Greater Des Moines, the Developer's Council of Greater Des Moines and the Polk County Housing Trust Fund.

Cox, his wife, Katie, and 8-month-old son, Braeden Russell, have settled right into Greater Des Moines.

"I like to consider myself an Iowan; it took awhile," he said.