Governor Terry Branstad is widely expected to run for an unprecedented sixth term but hasn’t officially announced his plans yet.
Meanwhile, supporters of former governor, Tom Vilsack are pushing an online petition for the U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to run.
A close confidant of Vilsack says he doesn’t expect Vilsack to run for governor again.
“I think we are now starting to go through the first stake out in the race for the Democratic nomination in the race for governor,” Des Moines attorney, Jerry Crawford opined.
“I believe Tom Vilsack understands that some people would be reluctant to get involved in the primary process if his name is still floating out there. So I wouldn’t be surprised to hear from him soon that he won’t be a candidate for governor.”
Crawford also said Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Council Bluffs Democrat, is the most serious he’s ever been about running for governor.
Crawford also predicted that if Gronstal doesn’t run, then State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald would run for governor.
Two other Iowans talked to us in person of their plans.
State Democratic Party Chair Tyler Olson, A Cedar Rapids state representative, says he’s still deciding on whether to run for the first congressional district or governor.
Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, from Hiawatha, is also looking at that same congressional seat now that the legislative session has finished.
“Now after taking a short breather, I’ll start working through the process of thinking through that,” Paulsen said on The Insiders.
“It’ll take me probably a month and a half to two months until I’m ready to make any kind of announcement one way or the other but I’m giving it very, very serious consideration.”
Tyler Olson also has a decision to be made, “I didn’t have a specific timeframe. It will be very soon. It’s something that I need to do, to get that decision made because I’m doing my job as the party chair and really enjoy doing that.”
Former Democratic lawmaker Bob Krause, of Des Moines, is the only declared candidate for governor so far. Senator Jack Hatch, a Des Moines Democrat, formed an exploratory committee to look at running and said he plans on making a decision by the end of the Summer.