Republican Governor Terry Branstad says he won’t make a potential rival’s divorce an issue in the 2014 campaign if Tyler Olson is the Democratic Party’s nominee for governor.
Olson, a state representative from Cedar Rapids, announced Monday that he and his wife are separating and planning to divorce. Branstad was asked about Olson’s divorce today during his weekly news conference.
“I don’t intend to comment,” Branstad said.
Branstad, who is 67, plans to seek a sixth term as governor and the 37-year-old Olson has been presenting himself on the campaign trail as a youthful alternative, telling stories about his two young children and how he courted his wife. A reporter today asked Branstad if he would make Olson’s divorce an issue in the 2014 campaign and Branstad replied: “No.”
State Senator Jack Hatch, a Democrat who is competing against Olson for their party’s gubernatorial nomination, issued a statement Monday saying Olson’s divorce is a “private matter” and he won’t have further comment.