Corbett releasing memoir: Book tour part of gubernatorial exploration

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett plans to release a memoir in the coming weeks followed by a book tour, which he acknowledges dovetails with his exploration of a run for governor in 2018.

The book, “Beyond Promises,” and tour will give Corbett a chance to meet people during the exploratory phase, he said.

“It’s really a get-to-know Ron Corbett book and really will be part of my decision of whether to run for governor or not,” said Corbett, 56, who previously announced he is not seeking a third term as mayor. “I know this will continue to add to the speculation. This is one of the final steps I need to take before making a decision.”

Corbett is considering a Republican primary challenge of Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is expected to succeed Gov. Terry Branstad upon his confirmation as U.S. ambassador to China.

Corbett has not said when he will make a decision.

Corbett plans two book launch announcements on May 8. One is at 10:30 a.m. at the Cedar Rapids Public Library and a second at 3:30 p.m. at the Des Moines Public Library.

Corbett then plans to hit the road on a book tour and book signings at libraries, county fairs, bookstores and book club meetings over the next year.

He will donate free copies to libraries and any interested Iowa book club and hopes to meet with book clubs afterward. The book will be on sale on Amazon with a posted price of $12.95.

Corbett said he wanted to write a book about the 2008 flood and the recovery for some time, but it blossomed into a fuller look at his experiences over his life.

The 220-page book recounts stories from his youth, his early career as an entrepreneur and getting into politics at age 26 and becoming the state’s youngest Speaker of the House, along with the 2008 Cedar Rapids flood, the recovery and rebuilding, and the close call with flooding in 2016.

“It’s an opportunity to share my story, and the story of Cedar Rapids,” Corbett said. “If I do run, it will be a good introductory piece for people if they truly care to learn about who is running for governor.”

Corbett paid for the book through his mayoral campaign fund, and proceeds will go to the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter, Mission of Hope and Waypoint, he said.

Rick Smith, a former Gazette reporter who most recently covered Cedar Rapids City Hall, co-wrote the book with Corbett. Smith, who retired in 2015, received four monthly payments of $1,500 from September 2016 to December 2016 for book development, according to Corbett’s most recent campaign disclosure in January 2017.

Big Fox Publishing of North Liberty published the book and received a payment of $100 in December, according to the documents. Jodi Smith was the book’s content editor, and Molly Cook of MACook Design, of Cedar Rapids, handled the book cover design. Corbett said he intentionally used local talent and services for the book.

l Comments: (319) 339-3177; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

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