Reynolds stops in Iowa City to tell voters Iowa is moving in the right direction

In a campaign stop in Iowa City, Reynolds stumps alongside Christopher Peters and local Republicans.


Katie Goodale

Kim Reynolds addresses supporters during her visit to the Hamburg Inn in Iowa City on Thursday Oct. 25, 2018. Reynolds visited with fans and addressed media questions about the upcoming elections.

Sarah Watson, Politics Editor

With just 12 days until the November midterm elections, Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, briefly visited Hamburg Inn No. 2 in Iowa City on Thursday.

Reynolds faces Des Moines businessman Fred Hubbell, a Democrat, to claim the governor’s seat.

After hopping off of her campaign bus, she circled around Hamburg Inn in about a five-minute stop before speaking with reporters outside. A frequented spot for politicians, former presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama have visited the restaurant.

Iowa City was one of seven stops Reynolds’ campaign made Thursday, she said. Reynolds headed to Washington County after her brief Hamburg Inn meet and greet.

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In the crowded restaurant, she shook hands and gave hugs, telling voters many of her oft-repeated mantras on the campaign trail. The last time Reynolds visited Johnson County was during the Iowa vs. Iowa State football game on Sept. 8.

“I think Iowa is in a good place and we’re moving in the right direction,” Reynolds said to reporters in response to a question about goals to maintain a Republican dominance in the legislature. Since January 2017, both chambers of the statehouse and the governor’s seat have been controlled by Republicans.

She praised a $127 million state budget surplus, tax cuts in 2018, and low unemployment as signals the state’s economy is prospering under Republican leadership. Her opponent, Hubbell, has said her claim is misleading, noting in debates she signed off on the state’s $35.5 million in budget cuts during the 2018 session that largely fell on the shoulders of the state Board of Regents and the judicial branch.

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With the extra dollars from the budget surplus, Reynolds said she would invest in job training, education, health care and public safety if elected.

The event was hosted by the University of Iowa College Republicans. A few local Republican candidates also rallied in support for the GOP.

Christopher Peters, a contender in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District race, also made an appearance. Peters, a Republican, is running against incumbent Democrat Dave Loebsack to represent the southeastern corner of Iowa in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Peters said he feels confident the campaign can pull out a win against the 12-year incumbent.

“I think a lot of college students are looking for something,” he said. “Loebsack is a very decent guy, but he’s been there for years. I don’t see that he offers any new ideas.”

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For students, he said criminal justice reform, decreasing student debt, and marijuana decriminalization are topics on which he brings differing ideas to the table.

“Ultimately what we are going to see a migration away from brick and mortar education. I think we look at education apart from brick and mortar education or work in partnership to brick and mortar education is the way we are going to bring costs down,” Peters said.

UI senior Pat Wronkiewicz, a state Senate candidate running against incumbent Democrat Joe Bolkcom for a seat representing Iowa City, said he planned to vote for Reynolds because she prioritized tax cuts. Wronkiewicz said he hoped a “pro-business” political climate would help him get a job after he graduated.

“You go to college to learn a skill and get a job and I think Gov. Reynolds is really pushing policies that help those students right when they graduate; there’s a job when they graduate,” Wronkiewicz said.

Reynolds said she was confident in her run for the governor’s seat. She said she had worked with both a split legislature and a Republican legislature.

“I feel good,” Reynolds said. “We’re going to be with Republicans up and down the ticket because it is all about the team. Not only is Iowa the state that is seeing results, but Republicans are the team that are providing those results.”