December 22, 2014

A Branstad message to potential 2014 rival Braley

Terry Branstad says he’s not going decide ’til next year whether he’ll seek a sixth term as governor, but Branstad is suggesting there are long odds for one of the Democrats who might run in 2014. 

Branstad has been raising money for a reelection campaign. His “Birthday Bash” this past November netted $600,000. Branstad has been telling audiences he and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds “intend to be around a long time,” but when asked during taping of the Iowa Public Television show “Iowa Press” if he’ll run again, Branstad was less direct: “I’ll make the decision in 2014.”

Brantad was more direct when the program’s host announced next week’s “Iowa Press” guest is Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat who may run for governor in 2014. As the show’s ending credits rolled on the screen, Branstad told reporters to ask Braley “when was the last time a congressman was elected governor of this state.”

The answer is 1920 and the governor’s name was Nathan Kendall. As Branstad pointed out, a congressman hasn’t become an Iowa governor in “modern history.” Branstad helped write that history, as in 1994 Branstad defeated Congressman Fred Grandy in a Republican Primary.

Branstad, who describes himself as a “very competitive person,” is quick to point out his own history.

“I’ve been in 12 contested elections and I’ve never lost,” Branstad said.

Branstad was a state representative before he served one term as the state’s lieutenant governor. He was Iowa’s youngest governor ever when first elected in 1982 and he won races in 1986, 1990, 1994 and 2010. If Brantad runs and wins in 2014, he’ll be the oldest governor in state history.