Iowa’s Republican governor plans to stay neutral in the contest among the candidates vying for the slot as the GOP’s nominee in Iowa’s third congressional district. The six-person race wasn’t decided on Primary Night, because a candidate did not get the required support of at least 35 percent of voters.
“We have five very strong candidates that all came very close to each other, I think between 23 and 16 percent,” Governor Terry Branstad says. “I think they’re all working very hard and I intend to remain neutral in the nominating process.”
In the final tally on primary night, State Senator Brad Zaun finished with 25 percent, followed by businessman Robert Cramer with 21 percent, Secretary of State Matt Schultz with 20 percent, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw at 17 percent and David Young, a former aide to Senator Grassley, finished with nearly 16 percent. The sixth-place candidate, Des Moines physical education teacher Joe Grandanette, got just 666 votes.
The candidate chosen to run on November’s ballot will face Democrat Staci Appel of Ackworth. Branstad’s promising to campaign with whomever will face Appel, a one term state senator.
“The Democratic candidate was part of the problem in the senate. She was there with (former Iowa Governor Chet) Culver and also she’s been one of the most vicious, negative campaigners,” Branstad told reporters during his weekly news conference.
Branstad, who is a lawyer, criticizes Appel for using the word “shark” to refer to her 2006 Republican opponent, who was a lawyer.
The Republican Party of Iowa announced Saturday they’ve moved to location of the third congressional district special nominating convention to Urbandale. It will be held at the Des Moines Christian School on Saturday, June 21.