This morning, former Governor Terry Branstad will file paperwork with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board (IECDB), essentially launching his campaign for governor.
All state candidates are required to file with the IECDB once they spend or raise more than $750.00. While some candidates have claimed that filing this paperwork is like opening an exploratory committee, there are no special distinctions allowed under Iowa law for such committees, meaning that when you file with the IECDB, you are announcing that you are a candidate. Branstad joins Bob Vander Plaats, Chris Rants, Christian Fong, Rod Roberts, Jerry Behn, and Paul McKinley in filing the necessary paperwork.
For most of the summer, Branstad has had the best of both worlds. On one hand, he didn’t have to answer media requests and attend forums or other GOP events because he is not officially a candidate. On the other hand, every political conversation in the state revolved around his potential candidacy. Now that he has filed the necessary paperwork, Branstad will be forced to answer media inquires, travel the state, and attend GOP events. There is simply no way around it.
Branstad has been aided by the “Draft Branstad” movement that was started last month by former state legislator, Sandy Greiner. While her draft movement raised Branstad’s profile across the state, it also provided Branstad time to make his announcement.
One of Branstad’s primary opponents is welcoming him to the campaign trail. “I’m anxious to see if the former Governor will be at the Polk County GOP’s gubernatorial forum this Sunday, or in Scott County for a GOP event on Tuesday,” Rep. Chris Rants told TheIowaRepublican.com. “The Republican primary for governor needs to be about the important issues facing our state and the differences between the candidates and Chet Culver. The process of determining who the best Republican candidate to face Governor Culver is can now begin with Branstad’s entrance to the race,” Rants added.
Longtime Republican operative Bob Haus thinks that Branstad will have no trouble getting through the Republican primary field. Haus told TheIowaRepublican.com, “I saw Governor Branstad Saturday night at an event commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Pope’s visit to Iowa. He looked great, his handshake was strong, and he had that look in his eye, that glint of a prize fighter. I think he’s ready to get back in the ring, and he’ll KO any and all opponents.”
Time will tell whether or not Branstad is able to sail through the Republican primary. One thing is for certain – the speculation over Governor Branstad’s prospective candidacy is now over. With a full slate of candidates, the Republican primary has now entered a new stage. Iowa’s GOP faithfulcan finally begin the process of determining who their gubernatorial nominee will be next fall.
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