Four of the 24 Republicans who serve in the Iowa Senate are announcing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is their pick for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination. Senator Brad Zaun of Urbandale says he’s watched what Walker has done in Wisconsin.
“I thought we needed someone with some executive experience and I’ve spent some time privately with him and asked a lot of questions and am 110 percent behind him,” Zaun says.
Zaun was the Republican Party’s nominee for one of Iowa’s congressional seats in 2010 and he was a leading contender in the third congressional district in 2014. Zaun says, because of that campaign experience, he’ll be able to help Walker meet key people in central and southern Iowa. The other three senators who’ve announced they’re backing Walker come from other quadrants of Iowa. Senator Randy Feenstra is from Hull, in far northwest Iowa, and he says Walker has executive skills that set him apart.
“Great candidates out there, but from what I’ve seen from Governor Walker, he has the leadership abilities to become the next president,” Feenstra says. “And I want to be on his team and make that happen.”
The other two state senators who’re endorsing Walker are Dan Zumbach of Ryan, in northeast Iowa, and Tom Shipley of Nodaway, in southwest Iowa. Zaun says he’s actively recruiting other legislators to endorse Walker and has planned a private meeting this weekend to give Walker a chance to answer other legislators’ questions.
“I think it’s important,” Zaun says. “The candidate himself ultimately has to spread the message.”
Zaun endorsed Michele Bachmann in 2012. Feensta publicly supported George W. Bush in 2000 and, in 2012, he backed Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. These are voluntary positions for the four senators announcing their support of Walker today. Ethics rules for state senators bar them from being paid directly or indirectly by a presidential campaign or a political action committee.
Walker has not formally announced he’s running for president, but he has formed a political action committee called “Our American Revival”.