Republican gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstad has picked a state senator from southern Iowa to be his running mate.
Branstad will ask delegates to this Saturday’s Republican Party’s state convention to ratify his choice of State Senator Kim Reynolds of Osceola as the party’s nominee for lieutenant governor.
“Since our victory in the June primary, I’ve given a lot of thought and consideration as to who should join me on this journey,” Branstad said this morning shortly after nine o’clock. “…In selecting Senator Reynolds I have found a dynamic and dedicated public servant who shares my core values on the key issues and also shares my passion for leading Iowa’s comeback.”
Branstad and Reynolds appeared together at a news conference this morning in Ankeny.
“I want to first start by thanking Governor Branstad for this unbelievable honor and just I truly appreciate the confidence you have placed in me,” Reynolds said. “I know you know I’m a hard worker and I give you my word that I will work day and night to do everything I can to make sure that you’re the next governor of this great state of Iowa.”
Branstad is on a seven-city tour today, introducing his choice for a running mate to Iowans. Reynolds served four terms as Clarke County Treasurer. Reynolds was elected to the state senate in 2008. “I’m really humbled that you chose me and gave me this amazing opportunity to work with you and to be a part of the team,” Reynolds said this morning in Ankeny. “And I want to let you know also that I will not let you down.”
Branstad described Reynolds as a “team player” with a proven track record. “For the last two years, she has served in the senate and has gained a great praise as an intelligent, up-and-coming, new leader in Iowa,” Branstad said.
Branstad brought up the “adversity” Reynolds had overcome, an apparent reference to her drunk driving convictions in 1999 and 2000. “Here we have a rising, talented conservative who has overcome adversity in her own life, who has been successful at the local level and in the state senate, who has not been afraid to stand up,” Branstad said. “She’s been a real leader on economic and social issues in our state.”
Reynolds was asked about the “adversity” Branstad mentioned. “It’s been very public experience that I’ve been through and I’ll just say that, you know, 10 years ago I did not think that I would ever get the opportunity to be running for a state senate and be elected as a state senator, let alone to be standing here,” Reynolds said. “So I’m very proud of my life and where it stands today…I could not have done it without a strong faith and a family that’s standing behind me and a great network of support.”
This Saturday, Branstad will ask delegates at the Republican Party’s state convention to ratify his choice of Reynolds, but some supporters of Branstad’s primary rival, Bob Vander Plaats, have said they plan to nominate Vander Plaats for lieutenant governor. Branstad seems to be prepared.
“We’re not going to gag the delegates. It’s up to the delegates to make that decision, but I have stated my choice and I’m confident that the delegates at the convention will ratify and support that choice,” Branstad said. “We’re not taking anything for granted.”
Branstad is 63 years old and seeking his fifth term as governor. He joked about the age of his chosen running mate during the first of seven news conferences today. “She’s older than she looks,” Branstad said, laughing. “…I will say that, you know, she’s got youth and enthusiasm, but she also has some really good experience and I think great leadership potential for the future of this state.”
Reynolds is 50 years old.
Listen to the news conference here: Branstad announcement 20:10 MP3
(This story was updated at 11:40 a.m.)