This is getting interesting. Who will be running to be the GOP nominee in the Iowa Gubernatorial Race. Some are already confirmed:
Names being bandied about:
- State Representative Christopher Rants (R-Sioux City) who said is considering it after the Iowa Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision.
- Congressman Steve King is still considering, but hasn’t declared.
Doug Gross apparently had a meeting with some Iowa GOP establishment to find a moderate candidate who could challenge Vander Plaats, Rants, or King and the following two candidates were discussed.
- Mary Vermeer Andringa, President and CEO of the Vermeer Manufacturing in Pella.
- Former Governor Terry Branstad, who is currently president of Des Moines University.
Gross also commissioned a poll in order to determine the focus for the GOP in the 2010 elections. He has also said regarding gay marriage if “Republicans let this be the only thing they talk about, they won’t be successful in 2010.” Duh. That doesn’t mean the topic should be avoided though either.
On Sunday, the Des Moines Register had an article “Iowa GOP is torn about emphasizing gay marriage” the subtitle in the print version said, “The party weighs the political merits of an economic agenda vs. a social agenda.” I think Gross is the only one really struggling with this. You focus on both. Why does it have to be either or? It should be “both and.”
My thoughts –
- Bob Vander Plaats. He did a great job with Mike Huckabee’s Iowa campaign. I certainly stand with him on his position on gay marriage, but I also know he doesn’t ignore other issues as well. The economy will be a major issue in this race. His main problem is that it is his third time running.
- Christopher Rants – I like him. He’s younger and has a lot of energy. I also resonate with his position on gay marriage. I also think he has a solid conservative record across the board. My only beef is that he is a legislator, I typically don’t go for legislators. Since he’s just a representative from a western Iowa district I’m not sure how he would do statewide.
- Congressman Steve King, I like him. A solid social conservative, and supporter of the Fair Tax (which wouldn’t be an issue here). I agree with him on most issues, but I believe he would also bring Democrats out in droves if he runs. It is entirely possible that some Democrats who are planning on not voting for Culver may if he runs. Too polarizing. Congressman King, we need you in the U.S. House.
- Mary Andringa – I just heard the rumor about her possibly running yesterday. I happen to know her and her husband Dale and have been over to their house. She is an incredibly wonderful woman, and has been an effective leader for Vermeer. I have never talked politics with her, so I’m not sure where she stands on particular issues (though I’m sure we have more in common than don’t). I hope she runs, but I do need to find out more.
- Governor Terry Branstad – I like him. I wish he ran against Harkin for Senate though. He’s still relatively young (63), but honestly he has had his time having been the longest serving Governor. I just don’t believe having him run signals “change.”
Regardless whoever the GOP nominee ends up being I’m positive they will be way better than Governor Chet Culver.
Update (5/6/09): Branstad and Andringa deny, Jeff Lamberti – maybe.