Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley told The Iowa Republican this morning that he will “aggressively explore a campaign for governor.” McKinley’s entrance into the race for governor enlarges the field to six candidates. Bob Vander Plaats, Chris Rants, and Christian Fong have all filed the necessary paperwork to raise and spend money on their gubernatorial campaigns. Two other candidates, State Rep. Rod Roberts and Sen. Jerry Behn have also campaigned for governor but have not set up a candidate committee to date.
McKinley said, “My vision is to prepare Iowa to compete in a global economy and give the people of Iowa their government back.”
When asked how his decision to run for Governor will affect the Republican effort in the Senate to gain seats in the 2010 elections, McKinley indicated that Senate Republicans will not miss a beat, and he believes that his campaign for Governor will also aid in their efforts to win a majority in the chamber.
Some have criticized McKinley for not doing all he could to force a vote on the marriage issue during the legislative session. McKinley said, “There has been a lot of political bickering on that subject. The Senate did more than anyone else to get a marriage amendment passed.” McKinley told the Iowa Republican that an amendment was drafted so that it could be attached to various bills, but each of their four attempts to attach it was unsuccessful.
The four attempts to pass a marriage amendment or pass language defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman in the State Senate are as follows:
1. A Leadership Bill. Senator McKinley asked Majority Leader Mike Gronstal to join him in sponsoring a marriage amendment. Gronstal denied McKinley’s request.
2. Sen. Merlin Bartz attacked an amendment that would define marriage to a bill. Gronstal deferred the bill.
3. Sen. David Johnson tried to pass a discharge proposition. This would have pulled the resolution out of committee and allowed them to amend it. Republicans in the Senate all supported the move, and democrats were asked to support the measure twice. Every Democrat declined both times.
4. Sen. Merlin Bartz filed a conscience clause amendment that would apply to county recorders. Bartz’ amendment went nowhere in the Democrat controlled senate.
McKinley’s website is http://www.mckinleyforiowa.com/
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