# IA-Gov 2022



A case for Dave Muhlbauer as Deidre DeJear's running mate

C.J. Petersen chairs the Carroll County Democratic Party and a member of the Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee. This commentary first appeared in the Carroll Times Herald.

Small business owner and Drake University grad Deidre DeJear is no stranger to making history.

She earned her political bona fides working for a young, charismatic long shot back in 2008 — and in 2018, when she was Iowa’s first Black statewide nominee of a major political party, President Barack Obama returned the favor with his endorsement of her bid to become Iowa’s secretary of state.

In DeJear, Iowans have a gubernatorial standard-bearer who is long on accomplishments and short on empty rhetoric. She seeks solutions that make sense, finds common ground when it counts, and doesn’t leave the room until a deal is done. DeJear’s friends affectionately call her “Deeds,” and it fits because of what she represents: a shift toward action over empty promises from the governor’s mansion.

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Exclusive: Governor was comped state building for SOTU response

Governor Kim Reynolds delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union from a government building terrace that is currently closed for rentals, and her office paid nothing to use the space.

The governor’s spokesperson Alex Murphy confirmed on March 2 that Reynolds gave the speech from the State Historical Building terrace. Five days and several emails later, Murphy confirmed the building “did not charge a fee for the Governor’s use of the space.”

Communications staff for the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs did not respond to messages over the past week seeking to clarify who approved the unusual arrangement for the governor.

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Deidre DeJear is the spark Iowa Democrats need

Mary Jo Riesberg chairs the Lee County Democratic Party.

Iowa is blessed to have Deidre DeJear running for governor. Democrats should be proud we have the opportunity to support and fight for such an inspirational and qualified woman who will represent all the people of Iowa. In the past, we took for granted that our elected officials would represent all Iowans, or at a minimum, they would at least not put targets on the backs of some of us. That is no longer the case in Iowa.

Deidre DeJear is a special kind of candidate who lights up a room when she enters. I know I feel as if something special has happened when I see her. Maybe more importantly, I know other Democrats, from moderate to far left who feel the same way. Knowing a candidate cares about you, and not just the collective you, has a major impact on a person’s desire to not just vote for that candidate, but to step out of their comfort zone and do the work that needs to be done to get them elected.

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Surprising Iowa poll reflects Kim Reynolds' divisive leadership

The latest Iowa poll by Selzer & Co. for the Des Moines Register and Mediacom indicates that the governor’s race is far closer than many politics-watchers expected. Governor Kim Reynolds leads Democratic challenger Deidre DeJear by just 51 percent to 43 percent, with 5 percent unsure and 1 percent saying they would not vote. The survey did not mention Libertarian candidate Rick Stewart, who has filed nominating papers and will appear on the general election ballot.

The poll of 612 likely voters was in the field from February 28 to March 2 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. Reynolds received national media attention for delivering the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1.

The relatively small lead for an incumbent against a little-known challenger points to a downside of Reynolds’ governing style, which has been to pursue extreme positions on controversial issues while shutting out opposing views.

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DeJear amends disclosure, lists all small donors

Deidre DeJear’s campaign for governor submitted an amended financial disclosure on February 11, listing all contributors, regardless of donation size.

The report filed with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board last month listed $56,924.78 in unitemized contributions to DeJear’s campaign, an unusually large number. Campaign manager Cynthia Sebian-Lander told me online donors accounted for most of that total, but the report listed each gift from individuals whose cumulative contributions exceeded a certain threshold.

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Chris Hall rules out running for governor

State Representative Chris Hall will not seek the Democratic nomination for governor, he told Bleeding Heartland on February 7. Having seriously considered the race, he concluded it was not possible to raise the resources or name identification to run a viable campaign.

Hall added, “I care deeply about the direction of the state and Democratic Party, and hope to contribute meaningfully to both.” He has represented part of Sioux City in the Iowa House since 2011, serving in recent years as the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee. He has not announced whether he will seek a seventh term in the state legislature.

Business owner Deidre DeJear is the only active Democratic candidate for governor; State Representative Ras Smith left the field last month. While other Democrats are rumored to be thinking about the race, time is running short. Candidates for governor must submit nominating papers to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office by March 18, including signatures from at least 3,500 eligible Iowa voters, with at least 100 signatures from at least nineteen counties.

Any new contender would need to put together a statewide organization before the June 7 primary. The nominee will face Governor Kim Reynolds, whose campaign had $4.78 million cash on hand as of December 31, compared to $8,547.28 in the bank for DeJear.

Prominent Democrats who ruled out running for governor last year include State Senator Pam Jochum, U.S. Representative Cindy Axne, and State Auditor Rob Sand.

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