Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett — a Republican candidate for governor — today said he’s raised more than $800,000 in cash during the past three weeks, with additional “hard commitments” that push his total fundraising haul above a million dollars. During a news conference this morning in Des Moines, Corbett said that makes him a “credible..contender” in his race against Governor Kim Reynolds.
“Reynolds raised a million dollars over a whole year period last year with the help of Governor Branstad,” Corbett said. “…What this shows is people around the state of Iowa aren’t bought in to this establishment narrative that the race is over before it starts. The race is just beginning.”
Corbett told reporters he aims to raise another million and with that amount he’ll be able to run “a very strong and credible” challenge of Reynolds in the GOP Primary next June. Corbett challenged Reynolds to join him in refusing campaign donations from political action committees, federal lobbyists and special interest groups.
“Keep the ‘swamp money’ out of Iowa,” Corbett said. “We don’t need Washington, D.C. money meddling in Iowa politics.”
Corbett is calling for a sort of pre-emptive cease fire before the mud-slinging begins on the airwaves. He’s asking Reynolds to agree to denounce attack ads that may be financed by independent groups that are not required to disclose the names of their donors.
“All of us know and we’ve seen it every election time, all the commercials that are sponsored by some of these shady groups that advertise on our TV stations and bombard us with ads,” Corbett said.
Candidates, by law, are not to coordinate with independent groups which run those kind of ads, but Corbett says candidates can ask that “fake ads” be pulled. Corbett also is calling on Reynolds to refuse and return any donations she may get from the Republican Governors Association during the primary campaign.
Governor Reynolds campaign manager issued a written statement, saying Reynolds is focused “on making our state’s future as bright as possible.” Phil Valenziano said Reynolds is pleased to have the support of Iowa’s two U.S. Senators as well as more than 1000 local volunteers who’ve agreed to be grassroots leaders for the campaign.