My vast network of gnome correspondents has supplied me with ample intel on the Iowa Senate race. It won’t surprise anyone to learn that King is not nor has he ever had any intention of running statewide. With that said. The names of potential wannabe candidates has been longer than my…. well let’s just say the list is long.
Lieutenant Governor, Kim Reynolds has often been mentioned as a candidate providing King opts out of a bid. She is said to be ready to announce the minute King makes his decision on his attention whore non-campaign campaign that has gotten on everybody’s nerves. I have learned that Reynolds may have a difficult path to the nomination with the addition of Secretary of State Matt Schultz making it known in the donor community that he intends to take on Congressman Bruce Braley for the seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Harkin. Both Reynolds and Schultz are in their first terms as statewide office holders but they are in fact statewide office holders which is something Braley cannot claim and may never be able to. It is down to these two Republicans.
Schultz and Reynolds will no doubt be in a race to announce sooner than the other to add pressure on whoever is slow to pull the trigger. Neither is likely to poke Steve King in the eye by announcing prior to his inevitable decision to not run himself. Both candidates would kill to have his backing though neither is likely to get it as while he may be a proud supporter of the 2nd Amendment he is very gun shy about primary endorsements.
A Schultz-Reynolds primary matchup is interesting on many levels, but perhaps the most would be in the inside baseball drama that cannot be avoided. For instance, Lt. Gov Reynolds’ daughter Jen Fagan currently is employed by Secretary Schultz in his office. And then Sen. Grassley is widely known to hate Reynolds’ advisor Nick Ryan for his rampant attack ads against his grandson Rep. Pat Grassley. While Iowa’s senior Senator may raise tons of cash for his re-election campaign and not known for helping other Republicans on the ticket, his ire and vindictiveness when crossing his namesake cannot be understated. I supported Annette Sweeney over Patrick Grassley when they were redistricted together so I’m sure the Senator is not a fan of mine either. Ryan may also be pushing Reynolds to run so that he can pick her replacement as Governor Branstad’s running mate, a shrewd move
As for the advantages and disadvantages of both Reynolds and Schultz, let’s start with Lt. Gov Reynolds. She is a rising female star in the Iowa GOP having been elected as Branstad’s heir apparent and chair of the Republican National Convention in Tampa. She would no doubt have Branstad’s backing in a primary with Schultz or anyone else and be able to tap into his donor network in Iowa. And let’s not forget that she is VERY easy on the eyes.
The challenges a Reynolds candidacy would likely face are some issues that were overlooked or downright ignored in 2010 as the #2 on the ticket. She has a couple of very problematic drunk driving convictions and is untested as a statewide candidate in her own right. There are also unsubstantiated rumors swirling around the rotunda about family values mistakes. It is always unfortunate when a candidate is forced to prove a negative in politics and her enemies may push this button which I think would be an error of judgment to do so.
Iowa’s young Secretary of State, Matt Schultz is undoubtedly a rising star in the Iowa GOP and is recognized nationally for his efforts to clean up our elections with a photo ID requirement that makes Democratic campaign operatives’ blood boil. A father of 5 children and the only statewide Republican office holder to endorse a presidential candidate prior to the Iowa Caucus, Schultz is a conservative who is not afraid to take a stand on what he believes to be right. As a Mormon, Schultz is a boy scout so even Sen. Gronstal can look on Iowa courts online for years and never see his name. Additionally, Schultz has proven that he can win statewide with literally no money in his own right.
Schultz’s challenges are likely going to be fundraising in Iowa if Reynolds runs. The Branstad establishment would be formidable but then Branstad is not the one on the primary ballot, Reynolds is. The other major issue is his vacating the office of Secretary of State which Republicans haven’t held since Paul Pate in the late 90’s. Schultz would be all but handing the office to Obama political hack, Brad Anderson to open the floodgates for Democrat election shenanigans to go virtually unchecked.
All in all this race will be very interesting and keep young political staffers gainfully employed till the 2016 Iowa Caucus providing we still have one and the Paulbots don’t scare every candidate not named Rand out of participating.
Speaking of the Paulistinian Liberty Organization (PLO), the Boston bombers were killed and captured thankfully by the brave men and women in uniform. I could rant endlessly about how stupid the Iowa GOP responded, but Kevin Hall summed it up perfectly yesterday. Yes, I just hyperlinked my biggest fan. What I really want to know, is Rand Paul going to filibuster until privately owned store front surveillance cameras are banned after violating the liberty of the Boston bombers? I am thankful for those cameras which led to the capture of the terrorists, but then I care about the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of those affected by the bombs more than the Mothership does.
Great Mentions & Trial Balloons
Ok, the revelation of a Schultz-Reynolds Senate primary is about as big of a GM & TB as I could get but here are a few small tidbits.
Perennial candidate, Steve Rathje who is currently running again for congress in Iowa’s 1st District has finally gotten his FEC report in. I was not even going to comment on this story till I read the seemingly endless Facebook and LinkedIn posts by him patting himself on the back for his allegedly impressive cash haul in just 4 weeks. Breaking down the numbers Rathje has raised $51,506 mostly from people also named Rathje. $15,600 of that total is money that can only be used in the general election for which he will likely never see. That leaves him with only $31,082 raised for the primary. Of that, Rathje has already spent $20,423 leaving him with $15,482 cash on hand for the primary. There are two words I have for Mr. Rathje: Burn & Rate.
No word yet on Liberty candidate Rod Blum of Dubuque’s cash haul as he did not become a candidate till April and therefore is not yet required to make a financial disclosure with the FEC. I just hope he knows that coins made of tin foil do not need to be reported.