Corbett sets June 20 for gubernatorial decision

Cedar Rapids mayor plans 'picnic-style' event in NewBo

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CEDAR RAPIDS — An announcement party will be held June 20 at NewBo City Market for Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett to say whether he’ll run for governor.

Corbett said the “picnic-style” event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. is open to the public. It will include remarks at 6 p.m. followed by conversations with the audience.

Corbett gave some clue as to his intentions during an interview with The Gazette.

“You have to build a network,” he said when asked about the time of the announcement. “You have to build brick by brick, vote by vote. People expect to kick the tires, so to speak, of people running for office a couple of times.”

Corbett would likely face Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds in a June 2018 Republican primary. No other Republican candidates have announced plans to run.

Corbett said he wanted to wait for fanfare to die down following Terry Branstad’s resignation as governor and confirmation as U.S. Ambassador to China, and Reynolds’ inauguration on May 24 before making his announcement.

Corbett rented the market using campaign funds and the event could be indoors or outdoors depending on weather. NewBo was selected as symbolic of how Cedar Rapids has revitalized since he took office as mayor in 2010, he said.

Corbett announced in December he would not seek a third term as mayor and instead was exploring a run for Iowa governor. Corbett has been driving 1,000 miles per week crisscrossing the state as part of a book tour intended to gauge support since releasing his memoir, “Beyond Promises,” last month.

When saying he was exploring a run in December, Corbett began teasing a “surprise” announcement at his final state of the city speech in February. He faced backlash when the surprise was only belting out a tune he dedicated to the city with the band Crankshaft. Corbett said this month’s announcement will not be him singing again.

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