Yesterday Robert Cramer became the fifth declared candidate in the GOP primary to represent Iowa’s third Congressional district. His official campaign announcement, which I’ve posted below, characterizes Cramer as “a full spectrum conservative candidate” who is “deeply involved with conservative causes in his community and in Iowa since 1996.” He is president and chief administrative officer of a construction business his father helped create more than 50 years ago. Cramer previously served on the school board in Johnston, a suburb of Des Moines, and has chaired the board of the FAMiLY Leader, a social conservative group led by three-time gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats. Governor Terry Branstad nominated Cramer for a position on the Iowa Board of Regents last year, but the Democratic-controlled Iowa Senate did not confirm him.
Incidentally, State Senator Brad Zaun, who will soon join the Republican field in IA-03, voted against sending Cramer and two other Board of Regents nominees to the Iowa Senate floor as a “symbolic gesture to show his displeasure with the fact that wealthy political contributors typically serve on the Board of Regents.” However, Zaun ultimately supported Cramer’s nomination when it came before the Iowa Senate.
Thanks to his personal wealth and business contacts, Cramer should be able to raise plenty of money for a Congressional campaign. Whether he can distinguish himself from the rest of the field is another question. Zaun, Matt Schultz, David Young, Monte Shaw, and Joe Grandanette will also be campaigning as both fiscal and social conservatives.
If no candidate wins at least 35 percent of the vote in the June primary, a district convention will select the Republican nominee in IA-03.
Cramer for Congress press release, January 17:
Johnston, IA – Robert Cramer announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Congress in Iowa’s 3rd District today, and will hold a formal campaign kickoff event soon. Cramer is a small business owner and Washington outsider, who is deeply involved with conservative causes in his community and in Iowa since 1996. Cramer is a full spectrum conservative candidate who has served on the Board of Directors for the Family Leader, as well as the Iowa Associated General Contractors.
“I have worked hard to bring people within the conservative movement together because united we’re stronger. I can also work with both fiscal and social conservatives to build the strong coalition of support needed to win in November,” said Cramer. “I am running because Iowans deserve a strong conservative voice with business experience in Congress who will go to Washington to solve problems and fight for fiscal responsibility.”
“It doesn’t take a degree in engineering to see that Congress is broken. They spend far more time scoring political points and not enough time on policies to make it possible for Americans to work, start a family and grow a business” Cramer said. “I’m running for Congress to be that strong, conservative voice in Washington. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and go to work, get government out of the way so American families can create jobs, balance our budget, cut taxes and support all families.”
Robert and his wife Lori live in Johnston, IA where they are raising their daughter, Lauren and son, Robert. The Cramer family has opened up their home to nurture and take care of 16 foster kids over the past several years. Robert received his B.S. from Iowa State University in Construction Engineering and has been a Licensed Professional Engineer since 1996. Robert serves on the board of directors for the Family Leader, the Industrial Advisory Council for the Construction Engineering Department at Iowa State University, is a past Member of the Associated General Contractors Board of Directors and a past member of the Johnston Community School Board.