By the time Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds walked to the microphone with State Senator Joni Ernst at the Iowa Statehouse Monday morning, Reynold already had her say. Reynolds had written an op-ed piece in the morning's Des Moines Register announcing her endorsement of Ernst's U.S. senate campaign.
At the event, Reynolds praised Ernst's credentials. She said, "As as a mother and as a soldier and as a conservative, Joni has the qualifications. she has the background. She has the experience to take our shared Iowa values to Washington. "
Reynolds pushed Ernst's chance to make history as the state's first female U.S. senator. The other declared candidates in the race are all men.
Governor Terry Branstad denied having Reynolds step out publicly is a way for him to send the signal that he, too, backs Ernst for the job. When asked, Branstad responded, "No. I'm respecting the lieutenant governor's right to have her own opinion and express it."
The governor also repeated his often stated position that calls into question V.I.P. endorsements. Branstad said, "I certainly respect and understand why she would endorse and support her friend. But I'm also realistic enough to know that you know the only endorsement that really counts is that of the voters on election day."
For her part, Ernst pledged to win over those voters. She said, "I will work very hard to earn their vote and earn their endorsement in November, 2014."