The three Republican candidates for governor each spoke, briefly, at an Iowa Christian Alliance event earlier tonight. Former Governor Terry Branstad was the first of the three to speak and he began by reminding the crowd that while he was governor, he signed a number of abortion restrictions into law as well as the Defense of Marriage Act.

“I was deeply disappointed that the Iowa Supreme Court struck that down,” Branstad said.”I believe the people of Iowa deserve the right to vote to restore one-man/one-woman marriage in this state.”

Republican rival Bob Vander Plaats drew the largest burst of applause from the crowd when he repeated his vow to issue an executive order on his first day as governor to forbid gay marriage in Iowa.  Vander Plaats suggested it was time to nominate a “principled conservative” as the Republican Party’s gubernatorial nominee.

“Poll after poll after poll shows our candidacy defeating Chet Culver in a head-to-head competition.  We can win on November 2,” Vander Plaats said, as the crowd applauded.  “And the good news about us winning in those polls against Chet Culver is ladies and gentleman we no longer have to compromise in order to win and to lead.”

Vander Plaats, a Sioux City business consultant, was the only one of the three candidates to mention Governor Culver’s recent call for four new casinos in Iowa. “You do not open up this state for business by expanding gambling in the state of Iowa,” Vander Plaats said, drawing applause from the audience.

State Representative Rod Roberts of Carroll is the other Republican candidate running for governor. Roberts presented himself as an alternative to Branstad, who served four terms as governor, and as an alternative to Vander Plaats, who is running for governor for the third time.

“I’m a new candidate who has stepped out and emerged from among the people,” Roberts said. “No one approached me to be their candidate. Just a lot of good people across the state of Iowa encouraged me, ‘Rod, carefully consider and pray about stepping up and running for the office of governor.'”

Roberts mentioned his work as state development director for the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, helping to form new churches. Branstad also talked about his “deep Christian faith” and he thanked the crowd for their prayers during his 16-year tenure as governor.  “And if I get the great honor to serve as governor again I want you to know that I will do all that I can to restore moral values in this state, to restore fiscal responsibility in this state and to make this a place where we can be proud of again,” Branstad said to close his speech.

About 500 people attended the Iowa Christian Alliance event, which was held in the sanctuary of a Windsor Heights church.   Each of the candidates was invited to speak to the crowd for three minutes.  Click on the audio links below to listen to their remarks.

The mp3 of the Branstad speech runs nearly 5 minutes. BranstadICA

The mp3 Roberts’ speech runs over 6 minutes.  RobertsICA

The mp3 of the Vander Plaats speech runs over 6 minutes. VanderPlaatsICA