A former teacher and coach wants to be the Republican who faces off in November against Democrat Chet Culver, another former teacher and coach who is currently Iowa’s governor.
Bob Vander Plaats taught and coached in Boone, Jefferson, Marcus and Sheldon. He’s now working as a business consultant and making his third try for the Republican Party’s gubernatorial nomination.
Back in 2002, in his first campaign, Vander Plaats finished third in a down-to-the-wire G.O.P. Primary, with about 31 percent of the vote. Nearly four years later, in February of 2006, Vander Plaats ended his second campaign for governor to become Jim Nussle’s running mate. “(It) puts personal agendas and petty politics aside,” Vander Plaats said during a rally to announce the Nussle/Vander Plaats ticket. “Checks ’em at the door.”
In 2007, Vander Plaats became an author when his book “Light from Lucas” was published. It’s about one of Vander Plaats’ four sons who is severely disabled. “It was always my goal with Lucas, where a lot of people would question his purpose, that his life would have impact,” Vander Plaats said during an interview with Radio Iowa. “…That’s part of the reason for writing the book.”
Also in 2007, Vander Plaats endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and campaigned extensively with the former Arkansas governor.
During nearly a decade as a candidate, Vander Plaats has advocated everything from new taxes on the porn industry to elimination of the corporate income tax. In the past year, Vander Plaats has been at the forefront of the push to end gay marriage in Iowa. And Vander Plaats stresses that his Christian beliefs guide his decision-making.
“As a candidate for governor I know who I am, I know whose I am and I know who I serve. That is where the baseline is with me,” Vander Plaats said during a speech earlier this year at a meeting of Iowa parents who home school their children.
Listen to Radio Iowa’s profile of Vander Plaats: capprofileBVP