With the June 8 primary just four weeks away, Steve Rathje of Cedar Rapids is the first of the four Republican candidates in Iowa’s second Congressional district to start running television ads.
Rough transcript by me:
Rathje speaks to the camera: Congress and the president are no doubt lost as to how they’re going to compete with China. Hello folks, I’m Steve Rathje, and for more than 20 years, I’ve been working with companies all across the U.S. in an effort to eliminate waste, cut spending, and bring jobs back home to America.
It’s time to quit sending our jobs overseas and expect foreign countries to buy our debt due to our out-of-control spending. I approved this message because it’s time to compete, not retreat.
Male voice-over: Real-world experience. Steve Rathje Congress.
This strikes me as a very solid introductory ad, highlighting Rathje’s experience as CEO of a company that “find[s] people in Iowa who could make goods quicker, faster, better and cheaper than the foreign competitors.”
According to The Iowa Republican, Rathje is paying about $5,900 to run this commercial on Fox News and KCRG in Cedar Rapids for the week. He probably can afford to stay up on tv until the June 8 primary. At the end of the first quarter, Rathje’s campaign had $55,586 cash on hand, trailing Mariannette Miller-Meeks ($72,702) and political newcomer Rob Gettemy ($120,815 including a $100,000 loan from the candidate). I’m surprised Rathje was able to raise nearly as much money as Miller-Meeks, the 2008 GOP nominee against Representative Dave Loebsack. Gettemy probably has more potential for out-of-district donations now that the National Republican Congressional Committee has put him “on the radar.”
Loebsack’s Republican challengers don’t differ much on the issues. If three of them can afford paid media for the final month of the campaign, that will raise the chances for the nomination to be decided at a district convention. The fourth Republican candidate, Chris Reed, has little money to spend before June 8. He needs to hope that his far-right endorsers and team of volunteers are able to deliver a surprising number of grassroots votes.