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.