A man who says he may run as an independent candidate for governor in November confronted Republican Governor Terry Branstad this past Monday at Branstad’s weekly news conference at the statehouse. Mike Wedeking is a chef who owns a restaurant in Des Moines.
“Do you think the creed of ‘By the people, for the people,’ has eroded beyond repair?” Wedeking asked Branstad.
Branstad replied: “No. I love this state and I go to every county every year and I try to be accessible and open to the people.”
Branstad’s press secretary asked Wedeking to identify the news organization with which he was affiliated and Wedeking replied that he was “a citizen of Iowa” who wanted to “take more interest” in government. A few seconds later, Wedeking told Branstad: “I’m considering running for governor as an independent. Would you welcome me to the race?”
Branstad replied: “Anybody is free to do whatever they want to and certainly you have that right as a citizen.”
A reporter then asked a question of Branstad and the news conference continued.
In 2010 Branstad faced four third-party candidates, one of whom ran as an independent and got 0.34 percent of the vote. The three other third party candidates were nominees of the Libertarian Party, the Socialist Workers Party and the “Iowa Party”.