Jeff Lamberti told Dave Price from WHO-TV 13 that he is indeed mulling over a run for governor. While I’ve written about the possibility of Lamberti running a couple of times, I think this is the first account of Lamberti directly telling the media that he’s thinking about it.
I know, I recently wrote that the Republican primary could just be between Vander Plaats and Rants just a few days ago, but thus is politics. I still believe it will be extremely difficult or nearly impossible for person from the business sector to jump in to this race because it would be difficult for them to define themselves on the issues of the day.
I think we will see a scenario where all the candidates involved have some sort of legislative experience or have sought office multiple time like Vader Plaats. I believe it is easier for Lamberti or a guy like State Representative Rod Roberts to enter the race for governor, than it would be for your typical business person for the reason listed above.
The part that puzzles me from Dave Price’s story is where he writes, “If I would have asked him two months ago, he probably would have said no. But now he admits he is thinking about it.” I find that to be very interesting. One could take from that that Lamberti might be motivated to either run because of the Court’s ruling on gay marriage. While I’m pretty confident that Lamberti is a proponent of traditional marriage, his comment could also mean that he disagrees with how the current field of GOP gubernatorial candidates is handling the issue.
I think more than anything, Lamberti sees an opportunity. I think a number of people believe that Vander Plaats staked out a somewhat extreme position on marriage. To his credit, he is going to be further to the right than anybody, which could be helpful in a primary. That said, while many are comfortable advocating for the people of Iowa to have a say in this matter, Vander Plaats wants the people to finally stand up to the courts and say “enough is enough.” Again, being critical of the courts isn’t a bad thing to do in a Republican primary, but articles like this one from Marc Hansen paint Vander Plaats as some sort of extremist.
On the other hand, many think that Christopher Rants is a flawed vessel. I don’t think you could find anyone who would question his intelligence and determination, but they take issue with a guy who lost the majority in the Iowa House, and continued to lose seats when they were in the minority.
Lamberti probably sees that he could easily enter the race and, in his view, give Republicans a better option than the other two who are already in this race. That might be easier said than done. The one thing any candidate needs to be successful is personal ambition. This is something that both Vander Plaats and Rants have plenty of. Both of these candidates have gotten where they are today by their own grit and determination.
Lamberti’s comments about a potential gubernatorial campaign don’t lead me to believe that he has the fire in the belly, but I have to admit, I thought the same thing about his 2006 run for Congress. Lamberti turned out to be a great candidate, but he didn’t have to go through a primary. That’s the real difference here.
If Lamberti is serious about running, he’d better act fast. Vander Plaats and Rants are out there doing their thing, and it is evident that they each want to win badly. Voters are also good at determining whether or not a candidate is in it to win it, so if Lamberti pulls the trigger, he better be ready.
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