Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds launched her campaign for a second full term Wednesday night at a rally in Des Moinespromoting its conservative agenda of tax cuts, personal freedom from mandates and school choice.
Reynolds, a republican which is leading in polls and has a big advantage in fundraising over it probably Democratic opponent, spoke about a week after she gave the Republican Party a response to President Joe Biden’s appeal about the state of the Union. The rally at the beginning of the election campaign was held in front of about 500 supporters at the state fair square.
“As long as I’m governor, Iowa will be a state where you can live freely without waking up every morning, worrying about what the government will do to you, your business or your children,” she said. .
Reynolds is popular with Iowa Republicans and has drawn attention to the country for its early efforts to bring children back to school at a time when the coronavirus was spreading rapidly, and to abandon mandatory offers of masks and vaccines. Although the White House task force in 2020 found that Iowa’s policies had led to “many preventable deaths,” Reynolds’ policies were celebrated by Republicans at the state and national levels.
According to federal data, 9,228 Iowa residents have died from COVID. The death rate in Iowa is 290 deaths per 100,000 people, ranking 29th in the country.
Reynolds said the next election will be about freedom and rights and who will defend them.
“We are not talking about liberals against conservatives. We are not talking about Republicans against Democrats. We are talking about who will fight to keep Iowa and America free, ”she said.
Conservative political strategist Nick Ryan, who has known Reynolds for about 18 years, said the COVID-19 pandemic helped identify her as a leader.
“You know you’ll get someone who will always stand on the side of freedom,” Ryan said. “She will always be on the side of personal responsibility. She will put her parents first. ”
Reynolds also backed a law banning transgender women from competing in girls’ high school and women’s athletics colleges, was an outspoken supporter of abortion advocacy efforts, and worked to reduce taxes and restrict gun laws.
Deidre DeGir, a small business owner and likely candidate from the Democratic Party for governor, said Reynolds had put outside interest groups and national policies ahead of Iowa’s most pressing issues.
“Her greatest achievements at this session? Deprivation of the rights of our most vulnerable students and the introduction of a flat tax that will again burden Iowa’s working families through tax breaks for the rich, ”said DeGir.
Reynolds has said it has no plans to run for president or vice president. But her advisers include Iowa Republican veteran operative David Cochel, who was an aide to Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush’s campaign when they ran for president, and advertising consultant Todd Harris, a senior adviser to Florida Sen. Mark Rubio during his presidency. company in 2016.
Marie Sanderson, a Republican strategist and former political director of the Republican Association of Governors, called Reynolds “a relative, polite and serious leader with record results.
A March 5 Des Moines Register / Mediacom Iowa poll shows that Reynolds leads DeJear among potential voters, from 51% to 43%. The poll surveyed 612 potential voters from February 28 to March 2 and has a statistical error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Reynolds raised nearly $ 6 million as of January, leaving about $ 4.8 million. DeJear raised $ 280,000, with about $ 8,547 left to spend, according to the company’s latest funding documents.
Reynolds became the first female governor of Iowa in May 2017, when President Donald Trump appointed Governor Terry Branstadt ambassador to China. Branstad said he chose her as a partner in 2010 after she spent just a year in the Iowa Senate because he saw in her a leader with original ideas.
“Kim Reynolds has done a great job, best of all, including me,” he said when arriving at the rally. “Iowa is in the best financial condition it has ever been, and it has had the courage to make difficult decisions and lead the state through some difficult times.”
She was elected to her first full term in 2018, beating Democrat Fred Habel by 2.7 percentage points.
Habel on Wednesday backed DeGir, saying “Iowa needs a governor who is willing to go to work and be a leader for all Iowa residents, not one who serves only his supporters.”
Reynolds also announced events in Dubuque, Waterloo and Cedar Rapids on Friday.
Associated Press writer Thomas Beaumont contributed to this report.