116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Humble. Hardworking. Common sense. Patriotic.
Gov. Kim Reynolds uses those terms to describe Iowans, at least those she’s counting on to elect her to a second full term.
And those are the words those folks use to describe her.
“What’s not to like about her?” Clint Sandburg of Benton County said at a Reynolds’ campaign kickoff event at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center on Friday afternoon. “You can walk up and talk to her.”
“Hardworking,” said Chris Rudd of Cedar Rapids. “Loyal to Iowans,” added her husband, Rick.
There have been challenges, said Reynolds, who is touring the state after announcing her re-election campaign Wednesday evening.
She said she was honored and excited by her election in 2018 after assuming the governor’s office when former Gov. Terry Branstad resigned in 2017 to become ambassador to China.
“But I could not have even begun to imagine what was ahead of us,” she told the couple of hundred people at her rally. “Let's see, it started with tornadoes, floods, a pandemic, a derecho that you guys know a little bit about, more tornadoes, droughts, civil unrest.
“You name it, we faced it. It hasn't been easy, but let me just say, Iowans came through. You came through every time,” Reynolds said.
As she has done in the run-up to formally starting to campaign — in appearances on national news programs and in her response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address this month — Reynolds has contrasted her leadership with criticism of the Biden administrations and the Democratic Congress.
“I think you would probably agree with me the contrast couldn't be more stark,” Reynolds said. “I think chaos, crisis and overreach are three words that describes what this administration is doing to living on a daily basis.”
In particular, Reynolds contrasted Biden’s pandemic leadership with her approach.
“When Democrats across the country were pushing more government control, the citizens of Iowa stood up, we fought for greater freedom, we fought and took on Biden’s mask mandate, “ she said, adding “we banned mask mandates in our schools — last spring, not last week.
“Unlike the Democrats, we couldn't wait for poll numbers to finally find science,” she said. “(Washington) said we’re going to trust Fauci, we said we’re going to trust parents.”
Reynolds’ likely Democratic challenger, Deidre DeJear, who will be campaigning in Iowa City on Saturday evening, said the Reynolds’ administration has been “chipping away at the freedoms we prize.”
“It’s time to interrupt that,” DeJear said this week. “I believe now more than ever that this is a moment that we can garner interest throughout this entire state to make change happen in a good way for all of this state.”
DeJear, a Des Moines businesswoman who ran unsuccessfully for Iowa secretary of state in 2018, will meet with supporters at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at the James Theater, 213 N. Gilbert St., Iowa City.
There was no lack of enthusiasm for Reynolds among the crowd that showed up early, many in red Reynolds-Gregg T-shirts and waving “Parents Matter” signs.
The loudest responses to what appears to be Reynolds’ campaign stump speech came on two topics: When she talks about “preserving girls sports for girls” by signing legislation to ban transgender girls from competing on girls athletic teams and about legislation phasing in a 3.9 percent flat income tax rate in Iowa. That bill also exempts retirement income from state taxes.
“That’s important, being 58 years old,” said Scott Moeller of Anamosa.
Those things happened, Reynolds said, because “I never lose sight of who I am working for.”
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