Government

Son says former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad 'definitely in campaign mode'

Gov. Terry Branstad gives his opening statement May 2, 2017, during a hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Rel
Gov. Terry Branstad gives his opening statement May 2, 2017, during a hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for Branstad to become ambassador to China in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. (The Gazette)

Former Gov. Terry Branstad will return to Iowa on Oct. 5 — just in time for the start of early voting and to spend the next four weeks on the campaign trail.

“He’s very, very excited to get back,” Eric Branstad, senior adviser to President Donald Trump’s Iowa campaign, said about his father. “He wants to be everywhere doing everything to support certainly our local legislative candidates, our congressional candidates, Sen. (Joni) Ernst and certainly the president.

“So he’s going to be really all over the state of Iowa and beyond,” Branstad said about his father, who recently announced his resignation as ambassador to China after three years there.

Twenty-nine days of early voting — in-person where available and by mail-in ballots — begins Saturday. The younger Branstad plans to put his father to work as soon as he gets back to Iowa. He’s working with his father’s former aides to fill out his schedule.

He thinks the elder Branstad, 73, will be an asset because he’s always been successful — undefeated in 14 primary and general election contests.

“And he’s definitely in campaign mode.” Eric Branstad said. “We’ll have him scheduled fully every day for 28 days, and there’s only one level of work that he does and that is turbo. He’s ready to put in that turbo kind of effort for all of our candidates up and down across Iowa.”

Branstad’s presence on the campaign trail will add to an already high level of enthusiasm for the president’s re-election, Eric Branstad said.

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“What I’ve been hearing is the president’s support and the energy surrounding our campaign is really like I’ve never seen it before,” said Branstad, who has logged more than 8,000 miles crisscrossing the state in the past three weeks.

The campaign has made nearly 2 million voter contacts, and boat parades, tractor parades and bus tours demonstrate “support of the president’s agenda and accomplishments,” he said.

For information on absentee voting, visit the website of the Iowa secretary of state.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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