Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announces 2022 reelection bid

Five years after taking office, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds formally announced that she will be running for reelection in this upcoming election.


Grace Smith

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds waves to attendees and legislative members during the conclusion of the Condition of the State address at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. During the State address, Reynolds spoke about childcare, Iowa teachers, material taught in schools, unemployment, tax cuts, and more. Reynolds closed her speech with a quote from “Field of Dreams.” “James Earl Jones’ character tells Ray Kinsella, in a baritone voice I can’t imitate: ‘People will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom.’”

Lauren White, Politics Reporter

With a little under eight months until the 2022 midterm elections, Iowa ​​Gov. Kim Reynolds formally launched her reelection campaign on Wednesday on the platform of protecting Iowans’ freedoms. 

“With a victory in November we can ensure that Iowa remains a beacon of freedom and prosperity, a state that’s known for opportunity, where our young people will grow up here and want to stay here to raise a family,” Reynolds said. 

Reynolds made her announcement at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, the same venue where former President Donald Trump held a rally last October. At that event, Trump made a comment that he planned to endorse Reynolds in the future. 

Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg opened up the event to hype up the crowd before Reynolds took the stage. He said that Reynolds has shown leadership in her first full term in office, and that many of the unanticipated events — like COVID-19, derechos, and tornados — that have occurred in the state have been handled well with her in charge. 

“I’m so proud to work with a governor who stands for freedom,” Gregg said. “A governor who stands for opportunity, our governor who stands for common sense. A governor who has led us through challenging times through natural disasters through a global pandemic. And through her leadership, we’ve come out better and stronger on the other side.”

Iowa State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, said in an interview with The Daily Iowan that he believes that Reynolds has the best record of any governor in the U.S.

“I believe that she is in an incredibly strong position to win reelection because of her relentless focus on common sense,” Kaufmann said. 

Reynolds used this announcement as an opportunity to share how she thinks Republican policies are best for Iowans and Americans. She highlighted how her COVID-19 policies condemned mask mandates and opened up schools. 

Iowa Democrats took the chance to criticize Reynolds for what they see as her failures. The Iowa Democratic Party sent out a response to Reynold’s announcement where they condemned many of her policies including her tax plan, recent anti-LGBTQ+ bills, and lack of funding for the state’s public schools. 

“While Kim Reynolds seeks to divide us, Iowa Democrats are working to make Iowa a better place for everyone. It’s time for compassionate common sense to return to the Governor’s office,” Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn said in the press release. 

Deidre DeJear, Reynolds’ likely Democratic opponent, criticized Reynolds’ speech on Twitter, saying she “spewed the same divisive rhetoric that we know all too well from these last few years.”

RELATED: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds touts Republican leadership in rebuttal to Biden’s State of the Union

Reynolds first assumed office in May of 2017, becoming Iowa’s first female governor. Formerly the lieutenant governor, she replaced former Gov. Terry Branstad when he resigned to serve as U.S. ambassador to China under then-President Donald Trump. In 2018 Reynolds won a full term, beating out Democratic challenger Fred Hubbell with 50.3% of the vote.

In 2018 DeJear won the Democratic party nomination for secretary of state, becoming the first Black candidate to receive the party nomination for a statewide office in Iowa. DeJear lost to current Secretary of State Paul Pate. If she wins, DeJear would be the first Black woman to hold the governor’s office in any state in the nation.

According to the latest Iowa Poll, Reynolds is leading DeJear in the gubernatorial race. 51 percent of voters say they would support Reynolds while 43 percent say they would support DeJear. 

Iowa was in the national spotlight last week with Reynolds delivering the Republican rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. In her speech, she uplifted the leadership of herself and other Republican governors through the pandemic, who did not instate mask mandates or stay at home ordinances. Reynolds also celebrated signing a flat tax rate into Iowa law, which she set out as a legislative priority at the beginning of the 2022 session.  

At the end of her event, Reynolds touted support for Sen. Chuck Grassley, in hopes that he too will get reelected in November. 

“I want to use the next four years to show how much further we can go when we trust Iowans and I need your help. The team needs your help,” Reynolds said. “And this year, we have an incredible opportunity to not just keep the governor’s office and our majorities in the House in the Senate. We have the opportunity to expand those majorities to reelect Senator Grassley.”

Facebook Comments