Choosy moms choose Jif. Divided Iowa Republicans chose Kim Reynolds. Ah, the drama. Iowa Democrats are licking their chops about this one, while Republicans will have to work hard to convince Iowans what just happened at their state convention in Des Moines will be good for their party. Terry Branstad wanted Osceola State Senator Kim Reynolds to be his running mate in the November election for the state’s top two spots. Typically, this shouldn’t be much of a story. Branstad won the Republican primary for governor earlier this month. He gets to choose his running mate. End of story. Not this year.
Supporters of Bob Vander Plaats, who earlier this month lost his third attempt at governor, tried to force their man onto the ticket as Branstad’s lieutenant governor. They hoped to convince enough fellow delegates to join them and confirm VP over Reynolds. Call it the first-of-its-kind convention coup. And, much like the results on primary night, it was fairly close.
On primary night, Branstad beat Vander Plaats 50-41%. During the convention, Reynolds beat Vander Plaats 56-44%. In case you were wondering, Vander Plaats did show up for the convention. He left following the vote. Supporters also nominated third-place primary night finisher, Rod Roberts, but Roberts declined the nomination and endorsed Branstad/Reynolds. Roberts later sent this out on Twitter:
I’m proud to support the Branstad/Reynolds ticket for Governor/Lieutenant Governor.
Vander Plaats, in case you were wondering, has not sent out anything endorsing the Republican ticket. So, where are we right now? When does Vander Plaats have to decide whether he will run as an Independent? Can he afford to run again for his fourth shot at becoming governor? Does he have any money left to tap from donors? Where’s Chuck Norris? Would Iowans even want to see a guy try and lose three times and decide to run again? Could he siphon enough votes away from normally-reliable Republican voters and add those to enough ticked off, frustrated, anti-party, or at least made at party people (in my own wordy way, I’m talking about Independent-type voters)?