# Vander Plaats Third Party

What's the smart play for Vander Plaats?

Bob Vander Plaats had a strong showing in the Republican primary for governor, winning 41 percent of the vote despite being massively outspent by Terry Branstad. He hasn’t endorsed Branstad yet, and the post-primary meeting between the two candidates reportedly “did not go well”. That sparked chatter about Vander Plaats running for governor as an independent candidate. He ruled out that option during the Republican primary campaign, but notably has said nothing during the past week to dispel the rumors. I figured he was trying to keep Branstad guessing in the hope that Branstad would choose a Vander Plaats loyalist as a running mate (perhaps retiring State Representative Jodi Tymeson). But no one from the Vander Plaats camp even made Branstad’s short list, and the final choice, Kim Reynolds, looks straight out of the playbook of the religious right’s nemesis Doug Gross.

Vander Plaats will be the featured guest on Steve Deace’s WHO radio program today at 5 pm, on the eve of the Iowa GOP’s state convention in Des Moines. Like Terry Branstad, I won’t be listening to Deace’s show, but I do enjoy a little scenario spinning about the options facing Vander Plaats.

UPDATE: Vander Plaats said he hasn’t decided yet whether to run as an independent candidate. First thoughts on his comments today are after the jump.

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