DES MOINES — Kim Reynolds trumpeted a glowing picture of Iowa while asking voters to keep her in the governor’s office for the next four years.
“We have a lot of positive things happening in Iowa, and I know the other side wants to think everything’s doom and gloom and Iowa’s going to hell in a handbasket. And I’m sorry. It is not,” Reynolds said Tuesday at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair.
Reynolds became governor last year when Gov. Terry Branstad was named U.S. ambassador to China. She faces Democrat Fred Hubbell and Libertarian Jake Porter in this fall’s election.
Reynolds listed various national rankings that place Iowa among the top five states as a place to live, as best-managed, for the cost of doing business and in various education metrics.
Reynolds highlighted three pieces of legislation that passed this year in the Iowa Legislature with broad bipartisan support: reform of the state’s mental health care delivery system, programs designed to help Iowans train for and find jobs, and an attempt to help educators identify and assist students who may be having suicidal thoughts.
“We’ve got a great story to tell. We have a lot to be proud of,” Reynolds said. “And we have a lot of work to do.”
In speaking with reporters, Reynolds said she continues to hear concerns from Iowa farmers about myriad federal policies. An escalating trade war has caused hog and soybean prices to dive, and oil-friendly actions have weakened the mandate for corn-based ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply, driving down demand for corn.
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Reynolds said she is not concerned voters will punish Republicans — who control all the lawmaking levers in Iowa and at the federal levels — because, she said, voters know she has been advocating on their behalf.
“Farmers in Iowa know that I’ve been out there, and manufacturers, fighting for them every single day. This isn’t something that I just started six months ago,” Reynolds said, noting she has led trade missions with Iowa farmers and testified against those policies to federal officials. “I’m not afraid to stand up. ... (Farmers) know that. They know me. I’ve worked with them for a long time.”
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