Opinion | Rob Sand is the candidate Iowa needs in 2022

Iowa needs new leadership, and Rob Sand should throw his name into the 2022 gubernatorial election.


Nick Rohlman

Democratic candidate for State Auditor Rob Sand speaks during the Progress Iowa Corn Feed in Bondurant Iowa on Sunday, September 16, 2018.

Sophia Meador, Opinions Columnist

Across Iowa, all eyes are on the election for governorship in 2022.

Though Gov. Kim Reynolds currently holds high approval ratings in Iowa, her performance during the COVID-19 pandemic and other key social matters makes her the wrong choice for Iowa.

In the disastrous past year and a half of leadership during the pandemic, Reynolds has shown she is not competent for this crucial role. Iowa needs leadership to defend against critical issues, and State Auditor Rob Sand has shown he has the capability to govern Iowa.

Though there is mounting speculation that Sand will enter the gubernatorial race, he has not made any official announcement. In early June, Sand said he was “praying more about this decision than I typically do for things in my own life.” However, Sand is the candidate Democrats need in order to win in 2022.

Sand, 39, is the 33rd Iowa state auditor. Before he was elected in 2018, Sand served as Assistant Attorney General in the Iowa Attorney General’s office since 2010. He is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Iowa.

When running for auditor, Sand campaigned on the promise of truth, integrity and accountability for Iowa. His performance as state auditor has exemplified his campaign promises, proving he is capable of being Iowa’s next governor.

In the few short years Sand has been in office, he has shown dedication in uncovering the truth of theft and fraud in Iowa.

During his time as assistant attorney general, Sand led the nationwide lottery-fixing investigation that uncovered seven fixed lottery tickets across five states with total face values of nearly $25 million. From his prosecution, the defendants had to pay back every dollar they stole from state lotteries.

As assistant attorney general Sand also prosecuted a former Iowa investment banker for taking more than $330,000 from friends and acquaintances. Sands’ prosecution was successfully sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Sand also brought accountability to the University of Iowa as the state auditor.

In June, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled the UI must disclose investors in the public-private partnership. The ruling came after Sand’s office subpoenaed the UI, which the UI did not honor.

As State Auditor, Sand shows integrity in his work as the state’s “watchdog”.

In June, Sand accused Reynolds of using the federal CARES Act to pay for a public awareness campaign, which violated the Iowa Law by more than $150,000.

With federal funding from the CARES act, Reynolds launched a public service campaign, “Step Up, Stop the Spread.” However, through auditing work, Sand alleges the campaign was used for self-promotion rather than COVID-19 relief efforts.

Amid public backlash and direct attacks from Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann, Sand told a crowd in Cedar Rapids: “I know that a lot of times, people who get angry, they put on their red hat or their blue hat and sort of jump to conclusions about people. I think we need to see less of that in politics and maybe Jeff will join me.”

Although Reynolds denied this allegation and claims it is in her realm of power because of the public health emergency proclamation, Sand showed significant integrity in standing up against the governor for what he believes is right in a position of power.

It is time for a new generation of leaders in Iowa. In 2022, we need a new leader to show the truth, integrity and accountability Rob Sand has shown for Iowa. Sand should throw his hat in the ring and campaign to be the next governor of Iowa.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.