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Reynolds ‘going to run like I’m 10 down’ despite $4 million fundraising lead

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Reynolds ‘going to run like I’m 10 down’ despite $4 million fundraising lead

Gov. Kim Reynolds talks with Van Meter employees Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, in Cedar Rapids. She said she’s focused on her legislative agenda rather than on running for governor again. She has $4.8 million in her campaign treasury. 

Leading Democratic challenger has $8,500 in campaign treasury

“That’s how I’ve always run any race that I’m in,” Reynolds said when asked about her most recent campaign finance report showing she has $4.8 million cash on hand compared to Democrat Deidre DeJear’s $8,500.

Reynolds was elected Clarke County treasurer four times and served a term in the Iowa Senate before being elected lieutenant governor in 2011. She became governor when Gov. Terry Branstad resigned in May 2017 and was elected to a full term in 2018.

Reynolds hasn’t officially announced she’s running for re-election, but she has a campaign staff and is raising money and making campaign appearances.

However, during a Thursday visit to Van Meter, a wholesale electrical distributor in Cedar Rapids, she insisted that for the time being she is focused on the legislative agenda she laid out in her Condition of the State address earlier this month.

“I think it continues the momentum that we’ve seen in Iowa over the last three to four years,” she said. “We’re going to focus really hard on getting that agenda done and helping Iowans succeed, grow prosperity and opportunities across the entire state.”

DeJear, a Des Moines businesswoman, says the state can do better if Iowans elect new leadership this fall.

“We’ve seen the politicization of so many issues in the last five years of this administration, and none of that has served the best interests of Iowans,” she said.

However, DeJear acknowledged the money disadvantage she faces — “the fuel that keeps us going,” she said a fundraising appeal Thursday evening.

“Defeating an incumbent is challenging because of how much money they are able to raise. Kim Reynolds has the entire MAGA GOP establishment backing her,” DeJear said, a reference to former President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign theme.

When she shifts her focus to the campaign, Reynolds believes she has a good story to take to voters.

“I’m proud of the progress that Iowans have made in the last several years … through a two-year pandemic, two derechos, floods, tornadoes. Through all of that, we’ve continued to be able to grow and expand,” she said.

“It’s a testament to Iowans and our businesses, our small business owners, our educators, just everybody that has really come together over the last several years with everything that we faced,” the governor said. “We’re coming out. We’re in a really good position to continue to grow.”

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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