We called it a "Republican Roundup" on my Internet radio show "Purple Matters" (that's a lot of "quotation marks" in one sentence, huh?) We had six possible candidates for the Republican nomination for governor next year in Iowa. Sioux City Rep. Chris Rants, Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats, Carroll Rep. Rod Roberts, Cedar Rapids economist Christian Fong, Boone Senator Jerry Behn and Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey all joined us. Chariton Senator Paul McKinley, Ankeny businessman Jeff Lamberti and Western Iowa Congress Steve King all cited scheduling conflicts, so they couldn't take part.
What did we find out?
Chris Rants--ALL IN, ALMOST. Rants is in the exploratory phase of the campaign. He has filed the papers to do raise money, etc. He said he will travel the state extensively in July and August and then said we should look for a possible announcement in the fall that he will run for governor.
Rants said he has informally polled Iowans about whether he should run as "Chris" or "Christopher". He said more people went with Chris. So he is running as Chris.
He denied reports that he has been talking with former West Des Moines Representative Libby Jacobs. Jacobs was recently laid off as Community Relations Director for the Principal Financial Group. Rants cited Cityview's "Civic Skinny" as the main source of the Rants/Jacobs talk. Although, a person who went along as part of the Greater Des Moines Partnership's annual trip to lobby the bigwigs in Washington, D.C. told me about it. Rants said it is too early to be thinking about a running mate and that it's like in baseball when you don't talk about a no-hitter before it's over.
Rants talked with us from his home in Sioux City. Listen to the full interview on "Purple Matters" from www.macsworldlive.com.