Moderate Republican joins the race against Boswell

Three conservative Republicans have already announced plans to run against Representative Leonard Boswell in Iowa's third Congressional district, and today retired architect Mark Rees of West Des Moines threw his hat in the ring too. William Petroski reports for the Des Moines Register:

Rees said he isn't criticizing Democratic President Barack Obama or individual members of Congress.

"It's not that I support what is and has been happening in Washington because I don't any more than my fellow candidates," Rees said in prepared remarks. "But it serves no legitimate purpose to craft politically motivated, emotionally driven statements laced with selected statistics promoting and promising unrealistic, unachievable results." [...]

Rees said he supports a federal balanced budget amendment, expanded job creation tax credits, capital investment tax credits for new equipment and facilities expansion and developing market import loan programs. He favors stronger border security, but wants to provide immigrants with a path to citizenship.

In addition, Rees said he wants to protect marriage between a man and a woman, but also believes in civil unions. He also favors cost-effective efforts to cap carbon emissions, but he does not support programs to allow pollution credits to be traded or purchased by any entity other than the government.

He said he supports expanding alternative energy programs through investment tax credit programs and a progressive tax structure that includes a vanishing long-term capital gains tax, a tiered short-term capital gains tax, a specialized market trading surtax, and a targeted short-sales capital gains tax.

I have no idea whether Rees can self-fund or raise enough money to run a credible campaign during the primary. Dave Funk, Jim Gibbons and Brad Zaun will be competing to see who's the most conservative, so it's conceivable that a moderate could sneak through next June with a strong showing in the Des Moines suburbs.

If any of the other candidates drop out before then, though, I would put extremely long odds on GOP primary voters selecting someone who believes in civil unions for same-sex couples or a path to citizenship for immigrants who came to this country illegally.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that while West Des Moines is the largest suburb of Des Moines and one of the larger cities in IA-03, many of the newest and wealthiest neighborhoods in West Des Moines lie in Dallas County, which is part of IA-04.

TUESDAY UPDATE: According to The Iowa Republican blog, Pat Bertroche is campaigning for this seat but has not filed paperwork with the FEC yet. So that would make five candidates if Bertroche goes forward.

  • clarification........

    Can't really put Gibbons in the conservative camp when he tells the DSM Register he knows of no spending programs he would cut (interview, DSM Register, Kathie Obradovich), and he releases on the Iowa Republican a new and universally panned program where he would basically have everyone stop paying taxes in two weeks....which would add to the deficit to the tune of about $600 billion dollars in the first quarter of next year.  That campaign is imploding.

    Funk and the very popular Zaun both have street cred with the gun lobby, but only Zaun has the years long record of conservative fiscal votes, as well as social conservative votes, and the experience necessary to beat Boswell.

    I do not happen to believe like many do that beating Boswell will be easy.....this will be a terrific race to watch.

    • Gibbons will clearly run as a conservative

      whether a Zaun supporter like yourself considers him a conservative is a separate issue.

      • The herd will be thinned

        I think the chances of Funk or Gibbons both remaining in this primary are thin.  Just a hunch.  I assume Zaun will be the nominee, but this new entrant in the race may have views that appeal to some wealthier, more socially tolerant GOPers in the third.  

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