Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats received the endorsement of Rev. Keith Ratliff yesterday morning. Supporting Vander Plaats might seem like natural fit for Rev. Ratliff, a strong proponent of traditional marriage, but this is the first time Rev. Ratliff will vote for a Republican in his life. In 2006, Rev. Ratliff voted for Governor Chet Culver.
In addition to being the pastor of the Maple Street Baptist Church in Des Moines, Ratliff is also the President of the Iowa/Nebraska Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). While Rev. Ratliff stated that his support of traditional marriage played a role in his decision to support Vander Plaats, he also mentioned a number of issues that Governor Culver has failed to adequately address in his first term in office.
One of the main areas where Ratliff has been disappointed in Governor Culver is the state’s hiring practices. Ratliff stated that, besides Governor Culver’s signing of Executive Order Four, which he admits has no teeth, the Culver administration has done very little to create a diverse workforce. Ratliff expressed displeasure that recommendations made by the NAACP and unanimously approved by a special governor’s task force have not been implemented.
Vander Plaats has not addressed state government hiring practices until yesterday. Vander Plaats pledged that as governor, he would apply the “three C’s” to the state’s hiring practices – character, competence, and chemistry. When asked about whether or not a Vander Plaats’ administration would support quotas or affirmative action hiring practices to create a diverse workforce, Vander Plaats told TheIowaRepublican.com that his administration would be fair to all people, but he does not support affirmative action initiatives. He also pointed out that in his eleven years in education and his seven years in the health services industry, he has always endeavored to give all people opportunity.
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