Representative Leonard Boswell’s campaign held a press conference this morning to announce an endorsement from Mark Rees, who finished fourth in the seven-way Republican primary in Iowa’s third Congressional district. Rees positioned himself as a moderate and mostly self-funded his campaign. He only won about 4 percent of the GOP primary votes. From a Boswell campaign press release:
“Boswell’s lifelong record of service to this state and our country is rarely seen in politics today,” Rees said. “His character, judgment, and integrity are without question. I trust Congressmen Boswell. I trust him to listen to his constituents and place our interests above his Party. I trust him to make sound, solid decisions void of any self-interest. And above all else, I trust him to always represent this state with honor and integrity.”
Boswell accepted the endorsement and praised Rees for representing a moderate voice in the GOP primary election.
“During the primary, Mark did not indulge in emotionally-charged rhetoric to score political points, and instead offered substantive policy viewpoints,” Boswell said. “His support is a testament to my history as a legislator in Congress, as I have always sought the middle ground in order to bring about solutions for our country. I look forward to working with Mark as we look toward the November election.”
WHO’s Dave Price reports that at today’s press conference, Rees “didn’t say anything bad” about Republican nominee Brad Zaun, but he did answer “yes” when asked “if Zaun was too extreme for the party.” The Republican Party of Iowa questioned whether Rees was really a Republican, noting that he voted in the 2006 Democratic primary. A statement from Zaun’s campaign suggested that Rees is a hypocrite for supporting “a 14-year, career politician who embodies ‘business as usual’ in Washington, DC” after claiming during the primary that voters he met were frustrated “with career politicians and business as usual in Washington.”
When the Boswell campaign announced Friday that a Republican would endorse the Democrat today, I was hoping for more of a game-changer than Rees, who isn’t well-known outside West Des Moines. That said, Rees may be able to help Boswell among moderate Republicans and independents in some swingy suburban precincts. About two-thirds of Rees’ votes in the GOP primary came from Polk County (where Zaun is unusually strong). Within Polk County, Rees’ support came primarily from the western suburbs of Des Moines, especially West Des Moines, Clive and Johnston. Rees’ stands on the issues are a better fit for moderates than Zaun’s, so his support may help Boswell claim the center this fall. Meanwhile, Republicans will keep recycling their rhetoric about “liberal” Boswell serving Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco agenda, blah blah blah.Continue Reading...