Fong suspends campaign for governor

The only Republican gubernatorial candidate from eastern Iowa suspended his campaign today. Iowa Politics has the full press release. Here’s the statement from Christian Fong’s campaign website:

“The message was right, and the vision remains unclouded. Commitment to the Iowa Dream means that while practical financial hurdles may prevent a run for Governor in 2010, I will continue to campaign for the Iowa’s future.”

– Christian Fong

Ed Failor, Jr. of Iowans for Tax Relief reportedly promised to help Fong raise enough money for a serious campaign, and Fong raised $100,000 in three weeks after entering the gubernatorial race this summer. However, it sounds like Terry Branstad’s return to politics dried up the money Fong was counting on.

Branstad was quick to release a statement today:

“I want to thank Christian for bringing his youth, energy and unique perspective to the Iowa governor’s race. Christian Fong epitomizes the Iowa dream, and I look forward to working with him on the critical need for Republicans to be a relevant voice for young people. We must provide a thriving business climate in Iowa that entices young professionals to remain in Iowa and raise their families here. Christian Fong is an exciting, energetic Republican and we’re fortunate to have him in our party.”

Does anyone think Fong might become the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor next year? Lots of people in Polk County expect Branstad to choose Doug Reichardt for a running mate.

I am disappointed that we won’t have a chance to find out whether an Iowa Republican could get serious traction using Barack Obama’s playbook.

  • Lt. Governor

    Fong would be an interesting Lt. Governor choice for any of the remaining candidates.  He could give geographic balance and some diversity to a ticket.  I don’t know what kind of support Fong was receiving at the grass roots level, but if it was anything that could make a difference in a close primary i could see him being a tempting choice.  

    I don’t know who would consider selecting him though as he seemed more tempered in his social issues views than Vander Platts and some of the others.  I am expecting a few of the candidates to “merge” campaigns if they actually want a shot at beating Branstad.  

  • Christian and Terry, sittin' in a tree...


    I’d bet on a Branstad/Fong ticket. Reichardt means Branstad is essentially doubling down on the “old white guy from Des Moines” card. He’s too smart for that.

    • if Branstad's overconfident

      he will pick the guy he’s comfortable with (Reichardt) and not the guy who can help him win (Fong).

      The same kind of thinking prompted W. to pick Cheney for VP instead of someone who could deliver a state. At the time he was around 15 points ahead of Gore in the polls.

      • Cheney

        True, but at least Cheney brought something to the table. He brought (I’m using 2000 thinking here) White House experience and a steady hand to Gov. Bush’s campaign.

        I just don’t see what Reichardt brings to the table. A familiar name? Hard to get a more familiar name in Iowa than “Branstad”. Moneyed connections? Pretty sure Branstad already has a fat rolodex full of bigwigs. Youth? Maybe, but a middle-ager like Reichardt doesn’t really seem like a hip, young guy to me.

        I could see Branstad bringing Reichardt on board somehow (campaign advisor, chief of staff, etc.) but I don’t think he’s getting on the ticket.

        • I agree with your analysis

          I don’t see what Reichardt brings to the ticket either. That said, if Branstad just wants someone he’s comfortable working with, he may go with a guy he likes.

          He told that group of social conservatives last month that Joy Corning was a “purely political” choice for running mate. Maybe he wants to do something different this time.

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