DES MOINES, Iowa – With a cheering crowd, energetic music, and banners claiming a “red wave” was coming in 2022, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that she was running for a second term.
“I am so blessed to be the governor of this great state. Every single day, I am in awe of your spirit, of your kindness and generosity. And I was reminded of that this weekend when tragedy hit again as the tornadoes ripped through central Iowa. The outpouring and compassion and hope, even in the face of tragedy, was moving,” she said.
Reynolds recounted the Iowans who pitched in and lent a hand to others in need in Winterset after she toured damage left by an EF4 tornado on Saturday that left six dead and five injured.
The campaign set up buckets to collect donations for victims of the multiple tornadoes that ripped through central Iowa.
“When I was elected governor, I could not have imagined what what what lies ahead of us. Floods, a pandemic, a derecho, tornadoes, droughts, civil unrest, you name it, we faced it, it hasn’t been easy, but let me just say, Iowans came through,” Reynolds said. “I knew you would. And that’s why I put my faith in you. And that’s why I’m so lucky to be your governor.”
Reynolds contrasted Iowa with blue states and cities, rehashing her response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.
“Over the last few years, when you turned on the television, and you watch the nightly news, you’d see one America where cities were defunding the police and crime was rampant. Businesses were locked down, and kids were out of the classroom. You would see a nation in chaos,” she said.
“But in Iowa, when you stepped outside of your home, you experienced something completely different. Businesses were open, kids were in school, law enforcement proudly and effectively enforce the rule of law,” Reynolds added.
“In all of that chaos and all of that madness. We didn’t lose ourselves. We didn’t lose our character. Instead, when Democrats across the country pushed for more government control. Iowans stood up, and we stood out,” she said.
Reynolds pointed out that Iowa was one of the first states to get kids back to school and did not participate in the cancel culture.
“Despite what you hear from President Biden and liberal elites, the threats facing this nation aren’t from Canadian truckers, Joe Rogan’s podcast, or parents who care about their child’s education,” she stated.
“The threats come from politicians who tell parents they should sit down, be silent, and let government control their kids’ future, from elected officials who restrict your freedoms with COVID mandates that they don’t even follow, from a United States president who refuses to do his job and secure our border. who refuses to stop human trafficking and who refuses to stop the staggering influx of deadly drugs that are pouring into our neighborhoods. The problems come from a government that pays people to stay home and taxes those who go to work that borrows and spends trillions, bankrupting your children and sending inflation soaring,” Reynolds argued.
She said that she never lost sight of who she was working for and would deliver on her campaign promises.
“We are protecting the unborn and standing up for our law enforcement. We’re preserving girls’ sports for girls. We’re protecting the integrity of our elections. We’re promoting energy independence and our homegrown biofuels. And, and unlike DC, we’re not overspending. We’re balancing our budget and were cutting taxes,” Reynolds said, reminding those in attendance about the tax reform bill she signed creating a 3.9 percent flat tax.
She said that this election is about more than partisan politics. It’s about freedom.
“It is not about liberal versus conservative. It is not about Republican versus Democrat. It’s about who’s going to fight to keep Iowa and America free. It’s about who’s going to put their trust in you. President Biden won’t, blue state governors across the country didn’t. But I did. Your Republican legislators did. And we will continue to do so,” Reynolds stated.
Reynolds became governor in 2017 when former Gov. Terry Branstad, who was present for her announcement, resigned to become U.S. Ambassador to China. She was elected along with her Lt. Governor running mate, Adam Gregg, in 2018.
She enters the race with a large fundraising advantage. Reynolds raised $3.7 million in 2021 and has almost $4.8 million in the bank. Her likely Democratic challenger, Deidre DeJear, has raised just over $279,000 and reported only $8,547.28 in cash on hand. Reynolds leads DeJear in the latest Iowa Poll by seven points.
Reynolds will kick off her campaign with a two week swing with stops in Bettendorf, Dubuque, and Cedar Rapids this week.
Update 9:30 am: On Thursday morning, she official filed with the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. Submitting over 16,000 nomination petition signature and surpassing the 100 signature threshold required to qualify in all 99 counties and far exceeded the minimum requirement to get on the ballot. State law only requires 3500 signatures and 100 signatures in at least 19 counties.
“This morning, I officially filed to run for re-election as the governor of Iowa,” Reynolds said. “This strong grassroots response reflects our message resonating in all 99 counties. I am excited to get back on the campaign trail and beyond grateful for the support Iowans have shown me across the state.”