Conflicting rumors on Branstad running mate

IowaPolitics.com reports that Terry Branstad will announce State Senator Kim Reynolds of Osceola as his running mate on June 24. Reynolds is in the middle of her first term representing Iowa Senate district 48, from which Jeff Angelo retired in 2008. Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats in that district by about 3,500 as of June 2010. Some background on Reynolds:

She served four terms as the Clarke County Treasurer, was appointed by Governor Branstad in 1996 to 2001 to serve on the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System Board and was elected president of the Iowa State County Treasurer's Association in 2000.  She also served on the three-person Senior Policy Team that was instrumental in the research, development and implementation of the Iowa State County Treasurers Association website which brought online property tax and vehicle registration applications to all 99 counties at no cost.

[...] She is a co-founder of the Iowa Republican County Officials Association, a member of the Osceola Tourism board, a former board member of Osceola Main Street and is a member of P.E.O. and TTT.  She is also a member of the Osceola United Methodist Church.

Earlier today, Linn County Supervisor Brent Oleson, who is also a Republican blogger, cited unnamed "GOP insiders" as saying Branstad planned to tap former State Senator Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny. Lamberti retired from the Iowa Senate in 2006 in order to run for Congress against Representative Leonard Boswell. UPDATE: The Iowa Conservative blog reported today, "we have received information which we believe to be credible and which points to the selection of Jeff Lamberti as Terry Branstad's Lt. Governor nominee.   This may turn out out be wrong, but our source on this is pretty good, and we've made a decision to post the rumor for that reason."

Branstad plans to tour Iowa on Thursday with his lieutenant governor choice. Events are scheduled in Ankeny, Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Clear Lake, Dubuque, Davenport and Cedar Rapids.

UPDATE: Click here for background on Reynolds' voting record in the Iowa Senate. She seems to be a typical party-line Republican legislator. This page lists her committee assignments, as well as links to bills and amendments she has sponsored.

SECOND UPDATE: Via Jason Hancock at Iowa Independent:

Longtime Branstad critic and Christian radio host Steve Deace was less than excited about Reynolds on Tuesday, saying that several residents of Reynolds' district were on his show "complaining that she wouldn't protect their private property from local government trying to confiscate" under the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision, Kelo vs. the City of New London.

Social conservatives may not be wild about Lamberti as Branstad's running mate. Although Lamberti is anti-abortion, people like Deace still haven't forgotten "[h]is vote to confirm radical sodomy activist Jonathan Wilson to the State Board of Education while in the state senate[...]."

THIRD UPDATE: Iowa Public Radio's Jeneane Beck: "Republican insider says he's 99.9 percent sure Branstad's pick for Lt. Gov is State Senator Kim Reynolds of Osceola."

FOURTH UPDATE: Todd Dorman of the Cedar Rapids Gazette makes the case for not caring whom Branstad will choose:

I know it's supposed to be a coveted office that will magically transform its occupant into the next big thing, but it's still a lousy job. Branstad's the last loot-guv to get a promotion, and that's back when you had to actually win a separate statewide vote and presiding over the Senate was included in the duties.

Nowadays, you get to do whatever the governor lets you do. And in a Branstad administration, if the past is an indicator, his mate will be the special director of the Department of Not Much.

Sounds perfect for a state senator no one's ever heard of.

THURSDAY AM UPDATE: Branstad did pick Reynolds. My first take is here.

  • Who is Sen. Reynolds?

    What are some positions Senator Reynolds has taken?  I've never heard of her until her name came up as a potential running mate.  Is she a social conservative?  A more business-friendly conservative?  

    • I know little about her

      Here's her official page on the Iowa General Assembly site. Given her background as a country treasurer, she may be in the "business conservative" orbit. She also belongs to a mainline Protestant church rather than an evangelical church (not that there aren't social conservatives who are United Methodists). I don't know much about her interests; she protects her Twitter account so that people she hasn't approved can't read it.

  • Lamberti would be a safe pick

    I wonder if he has any scandals in his business dealings, it's almost automatically frowned upon going after any business person who at least pays their taxes in a bad economy though.

    Steve Deace needs to go back to sports, it's hard to take the man seriously as a political commentator.  

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