(John Kerry and Rich Olive)
At the fundraising event for Rich Olive, Kerry "challenged Democrats to take back statehouses and governor's mansions across the nation in November, saying the country has become less secure under Republican control."
"The fact is, the United States of America is less secure today than we were five years ago," he said. "Less secure because North Korea has four or five times more weapons .... Iran is running amok, the Middle East -- the wheels are coming off, and Iraq is a quagmire."
Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, said "there's a better course for America," and that begins with electing Democrats in 2006.
"Who you chose for your local races is going to have a profound impact on the country as a whole," said Kerry, who was making his fourth trip to Iowa since the state's leadoff caucuses in January 2004.