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Reynolds warns against Democrats undoing GOP policies
Republican governor is a heavy favorite to earn re-election
DES MOINES — Tax cuts. Reopening schools earlier than other states during the COVID-19 pandemic. Restricting abortion access. Loosening gun regulations.
Those are among the state lawmaking achievements Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds highlighted Saturday night during a campaign fundraiser, — while also warning that Iowa voters must continue to elect Republicans, lest Democrats gain control in the statehouse and reverse those policies.
Reynolds made the call to action during her annual “Harvest Festival” fall fundraiser at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
“The Iowa Democratic Party has lost sight of hardworking Iowans, and if (Democrats are) elected all the good things that we’ve done over the last four years will go away,” Reynolds said. “Tax cuts, a strong, robust fiscal house, safe communities, fighting for the unborn, protecting our Second Amendment and trusting parents. That would all be undone.”
Reynolds, who has been governor since advancing to the post in 2017 and won her first election in 2018, is being challenged this year by Democrat Deidre DeJear and Libertarian Rick Stewart.
At a state party fundraiser last month, Reynolds made no reference to her re-election campaign. At Saturday night’s event, she did reference “my opponent,” but did not mention DeJear by name, even though she did note by name other Democrats running in other campaigns in Iowa.
A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll published in July showed Reynolds — who won her 2018 election by just shy of 3 percentage points — leading DeJear by 17 points. Four top national forecasters all rate the campaign in their “most likely Republican” category.
Reynolds described her Democratic opponent as just like other Democrats she accused of being out-of-touch with Iowans.
“So you may not know much about my opponent, but believe me, she fits right in,” Reynolds told the roughly 800 supporters in attendance.
Reynolds did criticize a more familiar target — Democratic President Joe Biden — on myriad policies, including his plan to eliminate some student loan debt for some college graduates. On that topic, she highlighted her decision to last week join a multistate lawsuit against the Biden administration’s proposal.
Reynolds also played off her newest campaign ad, paraphrasing it by asking her supporters in the crowd, “Has the rest of the country lost its mind?” and “Aren’t you glad you live in Iowa?”
DeJear continued to push back at Reynolds’ assertions about DeJear’s stances on law enforcement funding and voting regulations.
“As I have always supported law enforcement, I have always supported voting rights and equitable access to the ballot,” DeJear said in a statement. “The governor can continue to spread lies about myself and the Iowa Democrats, but we will continue to be who we are: the party that fights for the needs of Iowans.”
Along with Reynolds, the campaign event’s other keynote speaker was Wesley Hunt, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House in Texas.
Reynolds and DeJear are scheduled for a sole televised debate, at 7 p.m. Oct. 17 on Iowa PBS.
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