Ron Corbett

Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett announced today that he will not seek reelection in 2017. He may run for governor in 2018.

If Corbett does run, he’ll be challenging fellow Republican Kim Reynolds. By 2018, Governor Branstad will have resigned to become Ambassador to China and Reynolds will have taken over as governor. Corbett told Radio Iowa he was always going to be in an underdog role in the race.

“Everyone always knows that Kim was always going to have the leg up or be the frontrunner,” Corbett said. “…Governor Branstad, because of his position, was going to support her and endorse her, so although it wouldn’t have been an official party endorsement, it would have been a defacto party endorsement.”

Corbett said he wants to see what sort of agenda Reynolds may pursue in her first 100 days in office before making a final decision of his own about running for governor. Corbett promises action plans of his own on the environment, the economy and the state’s education system.

“We have test scores that are slipping or being stagnant in our state and it’s time to get out of the rut,” Corbett said. “On tax and economy issues, I think we need to modernize our state income tax. It’s not simple, it’s not fair and it’s not competitive. ”

Corbett is nearing the end of his second term as mayor of Iowa’s second-largest city. Corbett says, as mayor, he’s accomplished many of his primary goals, like shepherding the city through its flood recovery and improving Cedar Rapids business climate. Corbett served 13 years in the state legislature and six years as president of the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

Corbett, who is 56 years old, was born in Pennsylvania. He graduated from Cornell College in Mount Vernon in 1983.

(This post has been updated to correct the site of Cornell College.)