Republican gubernatorial candidate Rod Roberts says he’s the “uniter” Iowa Republicans need in order to win in November.
Roberts is competing against former Governor Terry Branstad and Sioux City business consultant Bob Vander Plaats for the Republican Party’s 2010 nomination for governor. Roberts says if Branstad or Vander Plaats win, their supporters won’t back the other candidate in the general election and that could doom the G.O.P.’s chances of defeating the state’s Democratic governor in November.
“We do have disunity within the party. I believe that helps the alternative — Rod Roberts — to be the candidate who can appeal to Republicans who might naturally support Bob Vander Plaats or be more comfortable supporting Terry Branstad, but who are concluding a divided Republican Party after the primary cannot succeed against Chet Culver.”
Roberts says there’s a “strong” anti-incumbent mood among voters right now and Roberts argued he is the “new face” who can be supported by both factions within the Republican Party. “We need a candidate who we can all rally behind and unite behind,” Roberts says. “I’m that candidate because a united Republican Party can then go into the general election and with a united front then make an appeal to independents and at least conservative Democrats to build the base we need to defeat Chet Culver.”
Robert suggests many Republicans are wary of giving Terry Branstad another four year-term for a total of 20 years as governor. And Roberts points out that Bob Vander Plaats, his other rival for the Republican Party’s gubernatorial nomination, has been seeking the nomination for “the better part of the past decade.”
“There’s a weariness that’s crept in and I’ve uncovered this,” Roberts says. “It’s like, ‘You know what? We’re moving on and looking for someone new to get behind and support.’ And I’ve attracted a lot of those people who formerly may have been supporters of Bob Vander Plaats, but they’re very happy to be on board with me.”
Roberts made his comments this morning during taping of the Iowa Public Television program, “Iowa Press.” The show airs tonight at 7:30. On Saturday afternoon, Roberts and the other two Republicans will speak at Iowa Taxpayers Day in Des Moines. Independent gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Narcisse and Libertarian candidate Eric Cooper will also speak at the event, which is sponsored by Iowans for Tax Relief.