Governor and Lt. Governor Work the Phones to Get Presidential Candidates to Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa– Iowa’s governor and lt. governor received a request: help get as many possible presidential candidates to Iowa as they can for a March event focused on agriculture. And they each received a list of names. They’re both now working on that list.
“We’re casting a wide net,” Governor Terry Branstad said Monday morning following an event in Des Moines. Bruce Rastetter, a prominent agriculture and renewable fuels entrepreneur, who is also the president of the Iowa Board of Regents, is hosting the event in Des Moines March 7th, the governor said. Speakers will get 20 minutes to address the crowd on agriculture issues.
The governor said Rastetter asked him and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds to call some prominent governors, who are also possible Republican presidential candidates, to come to the summit. Branstad mentions often that he prefers governors when it comes to presidential candidates, because he thinks their executive experience would translate well to the job. But he also says often that he will remain neutral as governor and won’t endorse a candidate before the caucus, which is tentatively scheduled for February 1, 2016.
Branstad said his call list from Rastetter included Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was away on an economic development trip, Branstad said, so he talked with a Jindal staff member instead. Reynolds said her call list included Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
They said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was already aware of the event.
“They all seem to be interested,” Branstad said of the early feedback he has received.
Branstad said the event won’t be limited to just Republicans, though. He mentioned Vice President Joe Biden and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, both Democrats, who would be invited to the event, too.
Rastetter will also host a reception the night before the summit for the invited speakers.