Republican Doug Gross knows what it's like to lose a race for governor. Democrat Tom Vilsack beat him in 2002. Gross doesn't want his party to lose again. By the way, despite rumors circulating that Gross wants to be his party's nominee again next year, he insists he is not going to run for governor.
Bob Vander Plaats, who has failed twice before in his attempts to become governor, is the closest person to a "candidate" for the Republicans. He told me he is running unless his health or his family's health became a concern. O.K., back to Gross...
Gross and some allies paid for a statewide survey of what Iowans want in a candidate. He said the numbers show Iowans want politicians dealing with the money matters, not marriage. Iowans believe leaders have spent too much money, so they know want those leaders to cut spending/cut taxes. He said cultural issues, like same-sex marriage, fall very low on Iowans' priorities' list, according to his survey. So Gross doesn't think Vander Plaats will win the race for governor, because VP made his opposition to same-sex marriages such a central part of his "campaign".
Gross is looking for an alternative candidate. He wants someone with a strong business background, but also, someone who has some political experience, as well. Gross didn't give names, but he said four or five people are very seriously looking at it right now. He expects to have his alternative candidate by September 1st.
Vander Plaats, as you might guess, disagrees with Gross' assessment. He told me he talks about other issues, like economics, but he says people keep talking to him about the same-sex marriage situation. He said it's important Iowans know what candidates believe on this subject, so he doesn't think Iowans want candidates to avoid talking about the topic.