Terry Branstad, the Republican Party’s 2010 nominee for governor, says he’ll send his running mate to campaign in the 25 counties Republican rival Bob Vander Plaats won in the June 8th Primary.

Vander Plaats has not yet endorsed Branstad and about 44 percent of the delegates at the Iowa Republican Party’s state convention this past weekend voted for making Vander Plaats the party’s lieutenant governor nominee. State Senator Kim Reynolds, Branstad’s choice for a running mate, won 56 percent of the delegates’ votes.

“My plan is to send Kim Reynolds to every area where Bob Vander Plaats was strong so they get to see her and know her because I think to know her is to love her,” Branstad told reporters Saturday.  “…She will win ’em over.  I’m confident of that.” 

Reynolds is campaigning tonight in Mount Pleasant and she’ll be in Fort Madison tomorrow.  Those cities are in two of the 74 counties which Branstad won on June 8th, however. Last Friday night, Vander Plaats said his one-on-one meeting with Branstad after the Primary didn’t go well and Vander Plaats is mulling an independent bid for governor. 

Congressman Steve King spoke briefly to Vander Plaats this past Saturday and hopes to have a conversation with him soon, after the dust has settled from Saturday’s convention show-down.

“I think it’s going to be good to let the sun set on this discussion and hopefully everybody wakes up tomorrow morning with a smile on their face and we put the same jerseys back on and we go to work as Republicans,” King told reporters Saturday afternoon. “That’s what I’m working for.”

Branstad campaign manager Jeff Boeyink said the “door is open” to everyone, including Vander Plaats and his supporters.  “We’re going to continue to talk directly to those folks because at the end of the day I think when they see the contrast between Governor Branstad and Governor Culver, I think they’re going to see it’s a contrast, that they can support this ticket,” Boeyink said.  “We’re all part of a pretty big and this campaign is going to be very welcoming to those people.”

Branstad told reporters on Saturday that he is “very willing to meet” with Vander Plaats in private again.