Developing: Iowa Governor May Eye New Job During Trip to New York

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DES MOINES, Iowa–Iowa Governor Terry Branstad originally scheduled a trip to New York next week in the hopes of bringing back more jobs to Iowa. It turns out, he may bring back one for himself, too.

Branstad is part of a delegation traveling to New York Tuesday through Thursday. The governor doesn’t reveal specific companies with which he meets on these trips but generally says he looks at companies that already have a presence in Iowa or could move some operations here, especially if they would fit with an existing company that could offer a potential partnership of some kind.

This particular trip, though, will be overshadowed with talk about Branstad becoming the next United States Ambassador to China. Branstad has a decades-long friendship with the Chinese president and also recently led a trade mission to China.

President-Elect Donald Trump first publicly floated the idea of the Chinese Ambassadorship for Branstad during a campaign rally in Sioux City–with Branstad by his side–two days before the November election.

The day after the election, Branstad denied any interest in a position and said he wanted to remain in Iowa. But he has changed his public stance in recent weeks¬†and said he didn’t want to “rule out” anything before Trump even offered it.

Branstad’s spokesperson Ben Hammes confirmed to Channel 13 that a meeting is “possible” between Branstad and the Trump transition team during the upcoming trip to New York. He also confirmed First Lady Christine Branstad will accompany her husband on the trip but he added that the couple made those plans months before talk intensified of a possible Chinese Ambassadorship.

Trump returns to Iowa Thursday night, along with Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, for a rally at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.