Iowa is a mess, both fiscally and socially.  We suffered through abhorrent leadership over the last three years with the Culver Administration.  I’ve been watching this gubernatorial race for quite some time.  I’ve gotten to know several of the candidates personally.  I appreciate all who throw their hat in the ring.  My original intent was not to endorse, but now that the field has been winnowed I decided that I needed to voice who my choice is come June.

I enthusiastically endorse Rod Roberts as Iowa’s next Governor.  Representative Roberts has faithfully served as a State Representative and is currently in his fifth and last term.  Representative Roberts has told me that he is fully committed to this race and will not be running for re-election as a State Representative.  On Friday he emailed me and said, “I have come too far, and ‘know’ that I need to stay in this race.”  I am glad that he is making that decision.  I believe that Iowa’s Republicans need a third option when looking at former governor Terry Branstad and Bob Vander Plaats.

I’ve had the opportunity to interview Rod and we’ve discussed his motivation to run and his agenda, government spending and jobs, and social concerns facing everyday Iowans.

Rod Roberts wants to restore fiscal responsibility to Iowa.  He believes that state government needs to control its spending.  He has opposed recent budgets that have been dramatically increased.  He has filed a bill that calls for amending the Iowa Constitution to limit state government spending.

He wants to make Iowa business friendly again and opposes recent attempts to repeal Iowa’s Right to Work law.  He understands that that the best way to create jobs is for government to get out of the way.  He wants to keep taxes low for individuals and businesses.  He has called for the elimination of the corporate income tax.

He stands for marriage being defined as being between one man and one woman.  He has called for people to “free up Supreme Court Justices to run to become legislators” by voting no on the three who are up for retention this November.  He exert pressure as Governor abiding by the Iowa Constitution in order to force a vote in the Legislature.  He is not in favor of the executive order that Vander Plaats has advocated.  He has this session proposed common sense changes to the way Supreme Court Justices are nominated.  He will stand up for marriage, but do so within the bounds of the authority given to the Governor by the Iowa Constitution.  He has not been afraid to stand for marriage publically as a candidate, and we can trust he will utilize the bully pulpit that the Governor’s office affords.

He has an impeccable record as a Legislator supporting pro-life policies.  In the Governor’s office we can be assured that he will support and sign pro-life legislation, as well as, advocate for life from birth to grave as Governor.

Rod Roberts is a supporter of Second Amendment rights not only for hunters, but for those who carry firearms for self-defense purposes.  This is something that is currently on the radar with two separate bills having been filed this session.

He desires to restore the quality of Iowa’s schools, but not to do so at the expense of a parent’s right to choose how their child is educated.  He has been a supporter of private and home education.  He also understands, as a former school board member, that school districts should remain under local leadership.  He wants to promote education standards that are rigorous, but also relevant.

Rod Roberts is a fiscal, small government, pro-life, and pro-family conservative.  He is the complete package.  I don’t want to have to choose.  He has demonstrated competency.  He understands how state government works, and how it can be better.  He knows what he will do on day one, but also knows how he’ll govern on day 2 and 100.  He is a man of integrity.  He is a servant-leader and has demonstrated not only in the Iowa House, but also in his role with the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ in Iowa.  He is a humble man, but confident that he can lead Iowa competently.  He also isn’t overly partisan, and is genuinely likeable.  He has also run a very positive campaign.  I think he’s set up well to be competitive and end up being a surprise in June.

I am proud to know him and consider him a friend.  I hope that my fellow Iowans will join me to support his candidacy.  Let’s help him become better known.  I believe that when Iowans get to know him they’ll like what they see.  I also encourage all readers of Caffeinated Thoughts to consider financially supporting the Reagan conservative in this race.

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    1. @Iowans Rock, So, I’m supposed to support a candidate that I don’t believe will be the best choice?

      I vote principles in the primary, you are making a “pragmatic” argument. Sorry, while I would support Vander Plaats or Branstad in a general election, neither are my first choice.

      I’m tired of being told that Vander Plaats is the candidate whom evangelicals are supposed to coalesce around.

  1. Shane,

    The problem I have with Rep. Roberts is that he’s not that much of a leader. I have trouble thinking of an issue that he was out front on early. He’s a great guy and makes for a terrific legislator. But good legislators don’t necessarily make good govenors. I feel like he’s the diet jello of the race.

    I know you’re not into a “pragmatic” argument. But consider this, arguably, if Roberts stays in the race, it will peal votes from MVP and give the primary to Branstad. MVP can’t win without all the conservatives. But Branstad can’t win against Culver without the conservatives and the rumblings are that they’re going to a third party or staying home if Branstad gets the nod. That will give Culver 4-more-years.

    1. @Mike Hartwig, I could flip that around and say BVP is peeling votes from Roberts :). It’s a matter of perspective. Again, why is BVP the one we have to coalesce around? How many times does he have to lose before we realize he really isn’t a strong candidate? We have approached his candidacy in a similar fashion of how Republicans have nominated their Presidential candidate… “well it’s his turn.” How well has that gone for us? Bob Dole, nope. John McCain, nope. I’m sure some will make the same argument for Mitt Romney. No thank you. But, I digress.

      I also don’t think being the best speaker makes you a great leader. What makes BVP such a wonderful leader in your mind? His tenure at Opportunities Unlimited which is suspect? That he does leadership consulting? I really don’t get it. Quite frankly I’m not impressed with Vander Plaats’ experience either.

      Personally I think he’s a nice guy, but he also seems more in touch with federal issues than state issues and wished he ran against Harkin two years ago.

  2. Shane,

    Good point on MVP. I have seen Bob’s work at Opportunities and I think it’s pretty impressive, where it was before he came and where it is now. Next time you’re in Sioux City, you ought to take a tour. But the focus of my comments were not on the merits of Bob but on the lack of merits of Roberts. I like Rod, but not as a governor. He’s perfectly suited in his role as a legislator and his community loves him. By him running for governor we lose that seat and it’s a shame. It’s the Nussle mistake all over again. As far as MVP not being a strong candidate, I think he is a strong candidate and he probably regrets jumping on board with Nussle. But we are seeing a redefining of the Republican Party. We have the Progressives in the Doug Gross, Terry Branstads and ICA on one side and the Tea Party, IFPCA, Rod Roberts, Shane Vanderhart and Bob VP on the other. It will be interesting if we capitulate to the other side.

    I respect Bob for giving it one more shot. I think he’s a great motivator, stubborn in his convictions and right on the issues. I really appreciate Bob’s perspective on the Supreme Court and the Marriage Amendement. If Branstadt or Roberts get into office, nothing is going happen. That’s a deal breaker for me not so much for the marriage issue but for the separation of powers. If the Supreme Court can make this decision on marriage, they can take my guns away, give my property to the casinos and demand my grandkids go to a certain school. I’m looking for a governor that’s going to stand up to the supreme court and, unfortunately, I’m not convinced Roberts (or Brandstad) is that man. Roberts a great guy and I respect you for putting your neck out there. I wish more people would, but Roberts has never separated himself from the herd. Outside of running for Governor, what’s his BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)? BHAGs inspire people and Bob’s got em. He may have a few quirks but what politician doesn’t.

    As far as, “How many times does he have to lose before we realize he really isn’t a strong candidate?” . . . Just one more time, just one more time.

    .-= Mike Hartwig´s last blog ..Extreme Marriage Makeover Weekend =-.

Comments are closed.

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