After raising more than $4 million for the campaign, Republican Terry Branstad has officially kicked off his bid for a sixth term as governor.
“It is an honor to serve as your governor, but there is more work to be done,” he said this evening during a campaign event in West Des Moines.
Branstad was Iowa’s youngest-ever governor when he was first elected in 1982. Now, at the age of 67, if he wins a sixth term, Branstad will hold the record as the nation’s longest-serving governor — surpassing George Clinton who served 21 years as New York’s governor. Branstad spoke earlier tonight to a crowd of supporters in West Des Moines.
“I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, but we’ve only just begun,” said Branstad, who took the stage as a song by the “pop punk” band “Fall Out Boy” played.
Branstad promised to reduce the size of state government, cut taxes and improve educational opportunities for Iowans if voters give him another term in office.
“My commitment to job creation and opportunities for Iowa’s families drives me to say tonight that I intend to seek reelection as governor of this great state,” Branstad said.
AUDIO of event, 26:00
Branstad spoke of a “relentless commitment” to making Iowa more prosperous.
“I pledge to you tonight that I will continue to work hard always for a brighter future for all Iowans, a future we can build, we must build and we will build together,” Branstad said to conclude his short speech.
Tim Newman of Adair was there to support the governor.
“He did what he said he was going to do,” Newman said after the event. “I guess he’s a known quantity. You what you’re getting with Terry Branstad.”
Betty Orduna-Salisbury of Des Moines likes Branstad’s work ethic.
“He is competent and he’s experienced,” she said.
After tonight’s event, State Senator Jack Hatch — a Democrat from Des Moines who hopes to challenge Branstad’s reelection in November — said Branstad was guilty of “campaigning before governing” and offering “slogans before specifics.” The chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party said Branstad’s ideas will move Iowa “further into the past.” The chairman of the Iowa Republican Party — sometimes at odds with Branstad — also issued a statement, saying “there’s no stronger candidate than a five term incumbent Governor to have at the top of the Republican ticket this November.”