July 21st, 2009

Rethinking the Gubernatorial Primary

cdthumbnail-copy-2With Vander Plaats, Rants, Fong, McKinley, Roberts, and Behn either in the gubernatorial race or seriously thinking about running, I think it is time we look at other potential candidates who haven’t ruled the office out just yet. In doing this, I’m not diminishing the values of the current candidates; I just think the field isn’t set yet. We have a couple more candidates possibly emerging. Remember, Doug Gross didn’t jump in the race until January of 2002. But most importantly, out of all of Iowa, who’s the best man or woman for the job? That is really where our thought process should start but often times we leap to the end and ask who has the best chance at winning. In doing so our platform is almost always compromised.

This list isn’t about politics, it is about policy – and unfortunately, those two things don’t always mix well. I realize none of these men may run but I think discussing them puts this race into a perspective that many may have forgotten even though this Primary Election is still in its earliest stages.

Doug Gross – With Branstad’s revival the past week or so, Gross gets back into the mix. Remember, Gross ran and won the primary in 2002 so to discount him in the race would be foolish (maybe a lieutenant governor position?). Of course if I had my may he wouldn’t be involved but I don’t always get my way. Gross has become a moderate thinking man. He advocates steering away from social issues. That philosophy isn’t good for Iowa right now with the marriage ruling and subsequent constitutional amendment talk. We need a strong conservative, or at least a candidate willing to put their neck out there if we plan on taking this state back from Gronstal and Murphy.

Tom Latham – Latham is a conservative without the rough edges others of the same description bring to the table. On the issues he’s very solid. He sticks to the platform better than most. His drawback on policy issues? He isn’t always able to be counted on – for example SCHIP in 2007. But like I said, he’s better than most and would make a very good governor. I would like him to be more of a bulldog in his approach but I don’t think that will ever happen. If he did run, which I doubt he will, he’d make a great governor for this great state.

Terry Branstad – I wrote about a Branstad campaign for governor yesterday. Branstad is a good Republican but since it has been so long since he’s held office or campaigned, I don’t know if he can be considered a conservative or not. He would have to reaffirm with conservatives where he stands on the issues we are passionate about. I do not doubt his conservative credentials, but, like most of us, I want reassurance before I’m willing to pull the lever for Branstad. He ran our state well and would surely do so again. I don’t know that he’d do anything phenomenal from the conservative perspective but I’m fairly confident he’d make this state proud again.

Steve King – King has yet to rule out a governor’s race. We can only guess at his reasoning for keeping this option open but my first thought is he isn’t satisfied with the field of candidates. A Branstad candidacy may be sufficient for King but with the current state Iowa is in, maybe King sees an opportunity to finally turn the ship around. On the policy front, King is my top dog. I’ve found myself thinking about King being our governor and how much different this state would become. There would be no compromises on any issues, whether fiscal or social. King would satisfy the fiscal conservatives just as he would the social conservatives. Basically, without getting too much into details, King would follow the platform to the “T” and we wouldn’t have to question whether he’d do the right thing or not. I look at politics just like I look at anything else in life and I want consistency and someone or something I can count on. King is that man.

Once again, I didn’t write this to discount our current candidates. I just think it is wise to look at what is available not just what is sitting right in front of you. There are at least six months left in the primary campaign for other candidates to enter the race and you can be confident more will. If we only look at politics rather than policy we will most likely lose and even if we do win, we won’t be happy with the result.

The primary campaign is also where we can try to shape and mold our candidates. We saw that in the Iowa Caucus with immigration. Tancredo and King made it so the presidential candidates had to swear off amnesty to win Iowa. We can do the same in the gubernatorial race on any issues we want – it is our responsibility. So my advice, for whatever it is worth, try to stick to policy and the politics will come but if you start with politics, policy will be forgotten.

About the Author

Constitution Daily
An Iowa based blog with the purpose of giving incentive to those actively engaged in conservative causes. Content will include Iowa and national issues ranging from politics to everyday society, but in every case you will know where Constitution Daily stands. Please feel free to contact me anytime at [email protected]

blog comments powered by Disqus