Republican Iowa Governor Reynolds announces his candidacy for a 2nd term


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds kicked off her campaign for a second full term Wednesday night at a rally in Des Moines, touting her conservative agenda for lower taxes, personal freedom mandates and choice of school.

Reynolds, a Republican who leads in the polls and has a huge fundraising advantage over her likely Democratic opponent, spoke about a week after giving the GOP’s response to the state of the day address. Union of President Joe Biden. The campaign launch rally was held in front of about 500 supporters at the state fairgrounds.

“As long as I am governor, Iowa will be a state where you can live your life freely, without having to wake up every morning worrying about the next thing the government will do to you, your business or your children,” she said. .

Reynolds is popular among Republicans in Iowa and received national attention for his early efforts to send children back to school at a time when the coronavirus was spreading rapidly and push back on mandatory mask and vaccine proposals. Although a 2020 White House task force found that Iowa’s policies resulted in “many preventable deaths,” Reynolds’ policies were celebrated by Republicans within the state and abroad. national scale.

According to federal data, 9,228 Iowans have died from COVID. Iowa’s death rate of 290 deaths per 100,000 population ranks the state 29th in the nation.

Reynolds said the upcoming election is about freedom and rights and who will protect them.

“It’s not about liberal versus conservative. It’s not about Republican versus Democrat. It’s about who is going to fight to keep Iowa and America free,” she said.

Conservative political strategist Nick Ryan, who has known Reynolds for about 18 years, said the COVID-19 pandemic has helped define her as a leader.

“You know you’re going to have someone who’s always going to weigh in on the side of freedom,” Ryan said. “It will always weigh on the side of personal responsibility. She’s going to put parents first.

Reynolds also supported a law that bars transgender women from participating in high school girls’ sports and women’s athletics, was a strong advocate for efforts to ban abortion, and worked to lower taxes and limit laws. on firearms.

Deidre DeJear, a small-business owner and likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee, said Reynolds put outside interest groups and national politics ahead of solving Iowa’s most pressing challenges.

“His greatest accomplishments this term? Stripping the rights of our most vulnerable students and passing a flat tax that will once again burden working Iowa families at the expense of tax breaks for the wealthy,” DeJear said. .

Reynolds said she does not plan to run for president or vice president. But his advisers include veteran Iowa Republican David Kochel, who was a campaign aide to Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush when they ran for president, and the publicity consultant is Todd Harris, a senior adviser to the senator. of Florida Marco Rubio during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Marie Sanderson, GOP strategist and former director of policy for the Republican Governors Association, called Reynolds “relationable, gracious and a serious leader with a track record of results.

A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll from March 5 shows Reynolds leading DeJear among likely voters, 51% to 43%. The poll surveyed 612 likely voters from February 28 to March 2 and has a statistical margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The Reynolds campaign had raised nearly $6 million by January, with about $4.8 million remaining. DeJear raised $280,000 with about $8,547 left to spend, according to recent campaign finance documents.

Reynolds became Iowa’s first female governor in May 2017 when President Donald Trump named Governor Terry Branstad ambassador to China. Branstad said he chose her as his running mate in 2010 after she only served a year in the Iowa Senate because he saw her as a leader with out-of-the-box ideas.

“Kim Reynolds has done a tremendous job, better than anyone, including myself,” he said as he arrived for the rally. “The State of Iowa is in the best financial position it has ever known and she had the courage to make tough decisions and lead the state through difficult times.”

She was elected to her first full term in 2018 beating Democrat Fred Hubbell by 2.7 percentage points.

Hubbell endorsed DeJear on Wednesday, saying “Iowa needs a governor who is willing to go to work and be a leader for all Iowans, instead of someone who only cares about his supporters of based.”

Reynolds’ campaign also announced events in Dubuque, Waterloo and Cedar Rapids on Friday.


Associated Press writer Thomas Beaumont contributed to this report.

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