Branstad staffer Adam Gregg will run for Iowa attorney general

No Republican stepped up to run against Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller in time to appear on the primary election ballot, but yesterday Adam Gregg announced that he will seek the GOP nomination for attorney general at the state party convention later this month. Gregg worked in private practice for the Des Moines-based Brown Winick law firm before joining Governor Terry Branstad's staff as a legislative liaison in 2012. (He's quitting that job to run for office.) His press release touted his work to help pass "the largest tax cut in Iowa's history, historic education reform, and a state based, Iowa alternative to Obamacare." The tax cut refers to the property tax reform approved during the 2013 legislative session. The Iowa Health and Wellness Plan is more accurately described as an alternative to Medicaid expansion rather than an alternative to "Obamacare." Iowa is still implementing the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Gregg promised "to fight everyday for Iowa families, Iowa farmers, and our constitutional freedoms," to "be an advocate for open government," and to "hold Washington, DC accountable when the federal government oversteps its bounds." Around the country, many Republican state attorneys general have used the job to grandstand against federal policies they don't like for ideological reasons. Sounds like Gregg will be emulating that model.

I don't give him much chance of beating Tom Miller. Four years ago, Brenna Findley got in the race early and ran a strong and well-financed campaign, only to come up well short amid a huge Republican landslide. Running a statewide campaign will raise Gregg's profile, though, and possibly open doors to future political jobs. The Des Moines rumor mill expects Miller to retire rather than seek another term in 2018. In that case, Gregg could join Findley as prominent candidates in a much more winnable race.

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