Rod Roberts doesn't want Iowa (and the media) to forget about him. Roberts is a five-term Iowa Republican representative from Carroll. He sat in the audience at the Iowa Association of Business and Industry's gathering in Arnolds Park this week. The featured speaker, of course, was Mike Huckabee, the former presidential candidate, who later in the day endorsed Bob Vander Plaats for governor next year (we've already discussed how BVP hasn't even officially declared his candidacy yet). Roberts, by the way, said he supported John McCain for president in 2008. Vander P chaired Huck's Iowa caucus campaign.
Roberts admitted most of the media have focused on the traveling and speaking efforts of Vander P and Christopher Rants in their efforts to raise support across the state. But Roberts says he is about to step up his efforts "soon". He said he will file the paperwork "soon" to set up an exploratory committee. Yes, "soon" is the closest to a time frame I could get. I believe he also added "sooner, rather than later".
Roberts, who would seem to be less known statewide as the other two, didn't want to put a dollar figure on what it would take to run for governor. Rants (and possible candidate Jeff Lamberti) have said it could take $8-10 million. Roberts said Huckabee proved a campaign is not all about money. Critics would say that's what candidates say when they know they can raise gobs of money. But Roberts pointed out Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses with a small staff and smaller bank account than others. Right, Mr. Romney?
Roberts also said he doesn't expect to enter the race, if he would choose to go that route until late in the fall. Others have said they would likely make their decisions this summer. Roberts said a late fall announcement would still give him plenty of time to compete and up his statewide name identity.