It has been less than two weeks since Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds was sworn into office taking the reins from Terry Branstad who resigned after being confirmed as Ambassador to China. In that time she launched a campaign website and has released two videos.
The first longer video was released last week as a way to introduce the new Governor to Iowans.
Today, the Kim Reynolds for Iowa Committee released a new video featuring her three daughters (Jennifer, Jessica, and Nicole) who share nine things we didn’t know about their mom.
- Her favorite candy is Peanut M&Ms in the freezer. (My wife loves Peanut M&Ms so maybe she’ll have to try that out.)
- She is terrified of snakes.
- She is terrified of heights (ditto)
- She likes really strong coffee to the point where everyone would have to throw out the batch when she makes it. (A well caffeinated governor, who can complain about that?)
- She makes the best monster cookies.
- When her daughter Jessica played basketball she would scream, “get tought Jessie!” (Our new governor played six-on-six girls’ basketball when she was in high school.)
- She is an amazing grandma.
- Passionate, caring, and energetic. (I don’t think that’s much of a secret from those who have spent any time around her and have listened to her speeches.)
- She’s a great mom.
It is still uncertain whether Reynolds will have a Republican primary challenger. Cedar Rapids mayor Ron Corbett is making the rounds in Iowa discussing his new book (authored with Rick Smith) called Beyond Promises. I’ve heard talk about Bob Vander Plaats, President/CEO of The FAMiLY Leader, possibly making another run, but nothing official. Vander Plaats has run for governor three times before. I would be surprised if he does.
There are a number of Democrats who may line up to win their party’s nomination to mount a challenge for the Governor’s office. Rich Leopold, the former director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources under Governor Chet Culver, officially announced his campaign in January. Andy McGuire, the former Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman has thrown her hat in the ring. State Representative Todd Pritchard (D-Charles City) is also running. State Senator Nate Boulton (D-Des Moines) who finished his just his first year in office is looking for a different office. He recently announced that he is running for governor.
The person that many people speculated would run, State Senator Liz Mathis (D-Cedar Rapids) declined to run back in January.
The Libertarian Party made official party status. That means they have the ability to participate in primary elections in 2018 and will be included as an option for Iowans on voter registration forms. To my knowledge, no one has officially thrown their hat in the ring. Jake Porter withdrew his candidacy to become the executive director of the Libertarian Party of Iowa. One name I’ve heard floated around is former State Representative Kim Pearson, like Vander Plaats there is nothing official, just chatter.
I believe Reynolds is in poll position to win in 2018. She made a shrewd decision appointing Adam Gregg as acting Lt. Governor. She will have one-and-a-half years under her belt. She has resources and the backing of Branstad (and one can assume most of his apparatus). She’s also energetic and extremely likeable. Whoever runs against her will face a major challenge.