Gov. Kim Reynolds raises over 10 times in campaign funds compared to Democrat Deidre DeJear

The incumbent hasn’t officially launched her reelection campaign, but has drawn more than $3 million for the 2022 race.


Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds enters the Iowa House Chamber for the Condition of the State Address on Tuesday, January 11, 2022. (Kelsey Kremer/The Des Moines Register)

Meg Doster, News Reporter

Some Iowa Republicans are outraising Democratic challengers as Election Day 2022 draws near. 

Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, has raised $3.8 million in campaign funds, according to her campaign disclosure reports filed on Wednesday. The governor ended the quarter with $4.8 million cash on hand.

Reynolds’ Democratic challenger, Deidre DeJear, has raised $279,376.92, less than a tenth of what Reynolds has raised.

Incumbents will usually have more money in terms of donations than challengers,” Timothy Hagle, an associate political science professor at the University of Iowa, wrote in an email to The Daily Iowan. “This is partly because incumbents have usually been working to raise money longer.

Hagle also wrote that raising campaign funds is a continuous process, that elected officials start campaigning for reelection right after they’ve been elected.

Reynolds hasn’t officially launched her reelection campaign, but is expected to seek another term. She was first appointed governor in 2017, and won reelection to a full term in 2018. When former President Donald Trump held a rally in Des Moines last October, he mentioned plans to endorse Reynolds at a later date.

DeJear launched her election bid in August 2021. DeJear is a business owner and co-founder of Back 2 School Iowa, a non-profit that has distributed school supplies to thousands of students in Des Moines. She ran for secretary of state as a Democrat in 2018, but lost to current Secretary of State, Republican Paul Pate. 

“Republicans have also been doing very well in Iowa in the last few elections, so right now at least it seems more likely Republican incumbents will win reelection in the fall,” Hagle wrote. “That can make it easier for them to raise money at this stage and donors for Democrats may be hesitant to contribute.”

RELATED: Reynolds proposes 4 percent flat tax, workforce package in Condition of the State

An incumbent’s advantage over political challengers regarding fundraising also relies on both name recognition among constituents, and because incumbents rarely face challengers during primaries.

The gubernatorial race isn’t the only election where Republican incumbents are outraising challengers. 

In the newly drawn 2nd Congressional District, incumbent Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, raised more than $809,000 in Q4 of 2021, according to Hinson’s campaign website, while state Sen. Liz Mathis D-Hiawatha reported raising over $550,000 in the same period.

Sophie Seid, the communications director for Hinson, wrote in a statement to The Daily Iowan that Hinson’s campaign is in a “strong position” going into the new year. 

Republican incumbent Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Democrat Christina Bohannan, who are vying for Congress in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, haven’t announced campaign earnings for the most recent quarter.

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