Republican Steve Ray fights for Iowa gubernatorial nomination

Steve Ray remains unfazed by his Republican opponents. The Daily Iowan’s Politics Editor spoke with him on the 2018 election, properly taxing Iowans, and the lack of mental-health treatments in the state of Iowa.

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Steve Ray (contributed)

Steve Ray, a Republican hopeful for the 2018 gubernatorial race, is an at-large Boone city councilor — he has held that position since November 2003. Ray, 47, was born in Nevada, Iowa, and is is also the city of Boone’s mayor pro tem.

Ray, a father of two daughters, moved to Boone in 1979 and lives there with wife Lisa and family.

Although he is running against incumbent Gov. Kim Reynolds and Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett for the Republican nomination, Ray is confident about his political experience.

Why Ray is running

“Well, there are several key issues that I’m extremely concerned about. One is just the overall way that the state is being managed. I think that being in state government for all the years that I have and the time that I’ve spent there as a manager, and seeing some of the decisions that were being made from the prior administration under [Terry] Branstad …”

Taxes

“You know, I’m a Republican; I don’t like taxes, unnecessary taxes, let’s put it that way. OK, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or Republican, everybody knows that in order for government to function, it has to have a revenue, OK, so taxes — it’s a reality. We have to have them [taxes.] So, my view’s always been, if we’re going to tax people, let’s make sure that it’s taxed accordingly, appropriately, and then make sure the money is being spent for what the taxpayers are at least expecting it’s going to be used for.”

State budget

“Here we’ve run into these problems over and over the years, where we’ve had so much money that was being syphoned off into the rainy-day fund, got well over $1 billion at one point, it was sitting there, while all along we’re cutting education, we were cutting public safety, we closed mental-health facilities … and we just kept cutting, and cutting, and cutting, all while taking taxpayers’ money and putting it in a fund and campaigning on this idea that ‘looking at all the money we’re saving you, look at all the money that’s sitting here.’ Well, I have a different philosophy in that area. As a Republican, I look at that, and I go, ‘That money is the people’s money.’ And while we have failing infrastructure on our farm-to-market roads and a lot of our other county roads, and stuff like that that need a lot of help — all the other areas that I just addressed, it was just extremely disconcerting to me that we kept taking people’s money and then campaigning on how much we’re saving them and letting so many things go by … I want to reprioritize the budget, and I don’t think that we necessarily have to raise taxes, because I know that there’s a lot of waste out there in state government.”

Mental health

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