Rants is in

State Representative Christopher Rants, a Republican from Sioux City, is "in" — he has filed the paperwork and formed an "exploratory committee" to run for governor.

Read the Rants "to do" list on his website. If you follow Rants on Twitter, he's been tweeting this morning, too.

Rants, who is 41, served as House Speaker from November 2002 to November 2006.  He is the guest on this weekend's Iowa Press program on IPTV.  The show will be taped in the 10 o'clock hour this friday morning.  A handful of reporters are sitting in a vestibule at IPTV, in front of a big screen TV which will broadcast the show to us as it's being taped.  I shall try to blog some of his comments on the fly.

UPDATE:  The taping has started.  Rants opened with these comments: "After the legislative session ended, I hopped in my car…and logged 11,000 miles…I hit the road to go listen to Iowans and specifically what.  Today I'm taking the step to forming an exploratory committee.  We've hit our initial fundraising targets…but to be honest, there's a long way to go.  but today we're taking the first step."

Rants delivers a sort of "State of the State" assessment:  "I don't think we're at a crossroads…I think we've gone down a wrong road and, quite frankly, we're in a ditch."

Rants offers this analysis of the state of the GOP:  "If we're going to reclaim our place…we only do that by offering positive solutions." 

Rants suggested he's hearing this from Iowans: "Don't just run a negative campaign and tell me about the other person.  Tell me what you're going to do."

Rants admitted in the past he was "too aggressive" and "too quick to have the answer" because he is a "passionate guy."  A few seconds earlier, Rants had offered this: "When people ask you a question, maybe you shouldn't be the first one out there with the answer."

Rants talked about delivering a change message (Obama?) and about engaging in straight talk (McCain?). "Iowans are ready for some straight talk," Rants said 

Rants said he'd expect a primary campaign to require $2 million, but he declined to say how much he has raised thus far.

Rants offered this witticism on facing off against Culver:  "It's an uphill fight, but it's a fight worth fighting for."

Culver was "too slow to act" to help flood victims after the flood waters receeded.  "I think aid was delayed," Rants said.

Rants250 UPDATE II:  Here's the Radio Iowa story, featuring quotes from Rants after the show. Rants was questioned by a handful of reporters in an IPTV lobby.  Rants, who gave up Mountain Dew a couple o fyears ago, was holding a bottle of Diet Mountain Dew.

"Are you back on the juice?" I asked after we reporters had asked our campaign-related questions.

"What does that mean?" Rants answered.

"You gave up Mountain Dew," I replied.

"Oh, well, yea," Rants admitted.  "This campaign is going to be running on Diet Coke and Casey's pizza and ethanol the whole way."  He then took a drink of Dew.

Thanks to Jennifer Konfrst at Iowa Public Television for snapping this photo of Rants. 

UPDATE III:  Charlie Smithson, director & legal counsel of the Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board, sends along a link to the paperwork Rants filed today.

UPDATE IV:  Iowa Democratic Party chairman Michael Kiernan issued a prepared statement via email.  Read it below.

“Chris Rants announced his candidacy today on Twitter. His tweet should have been, 'I Oppose smoking ban, Power Fund, Pre-K and I-Jobs. Favor recession. Perfect candidate for Party of Nope.'
“This is my Twitter-worthy response: ‘Culver/Judge moving IA forward despite Bush-Rants recession. Busy wrkn 4 IA families. Happy 2 discuss w/Rants/Vander Plaats/whomever nxt yr.’”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.