Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats says he has no intention of running as an independent or third-party candidate if he fails to secure the G.O.P. nomination in June. “I don’t believe me running as a third-party (candidate) does anything for the Republican Party of Iowa,” Vander Plaats says. “I don’t think it does anything for the future of Iowa.”
The Iowa Family Policy Center’s Political Action Committee endorsed Vander Plaats earlier this year and the group vowed not to support former Governor Terry Branstad if he wins the Republican Party’s 2010 nomination for governor. Vander Plaats is making his third bid for that nomination.
“When I ran in 2002 I really believed that Iowa needed leadership from the outside, not from the inside. 2006, same type of thing, before I joined up with Jim Nussle,” Vander Plaats says. “But I believe the environment is tailor-made for a Bob Vander Plaats run today. The people out there want leadership from the outside. They don’t want politics as usual.”
Vander Plaats says his competitors — former Governor Branstad and state Representative Rod Roberts — are insiders and that won’t sell well in a year when voters are in an “anti-incumbent” mood. “They don’t want somebody who’s been governor for 16 years who’s going to go for 20 years. I don’t think that’s the future they want to go to. I don’t think they want to embrace somebody who’s been a state rep for 10 years and says, ‘Give me the keys to the office of governor so I can go forward,” Vander Plaats says.
“I think they want a private citizen to lead the state today.” Vander Plaats, a former educator who is now a business consultant, has never held elected office. Vander Plaats made his comments this weekend during an appearance on Iowa Public Television.