AUDIO: Branstad picks Kim Reynolds as running mate

UPDATEHere is the Radio Iowa story.  You may listen to the entire 20-minute news conference there.  Below is a live blog of the event.

At 8:50 a.m. Terry Branstad’s campaign sent out a text message on the Branstad 2010 Twitter account, letting supporters who signed up for the Twitter alert that State Senator Kim Reynolds is his choice for a lieutenant governor/running mate.  This keeps a string going.

A previous tweet sent a picture, showing the “stage” for today’s announcement. Branstad’s campaign will hold a news conference in a conference room at the Ankeny airport.  The room is utilitarian, with a wood-like lectern at the south end.  A blue and white Branstad sign is taped on the front, anda field of 12 signs have been taped on the wall behindto provide a photo back-drop, partially obscuring the window that is behind.

At exactly 9 a.m., Terry & Chris Branstadwalked into the room, with Reynolds walking behind.

“Since our victory in the June primary, I’ve given a lot of thought and consideration as to who should join me on this journey,” Branstad said, adding there was “no shortage” of qualified Republicans for the post he’s now asking Reynolds to fill.

Branstad called Reynolds a “dynamic and dedicated public servant who shared my core values on the key issues.”  Branstad said Reynolds has “a lot of enthusiasm and a track-record…Iowans will quickly learn important facts about Senator Kim Reynolds.”

She was Clarke County Treasurer for 14 years.  In 2008, she was elected to the state senate, representing 7 counties in southern Iowa.

“She’s a team player,” Branstad said, “…an intelligent, up and coming new leader in Iowa.”

Reynolds began speaking, noting she saw a lot of “familiar faces” in the room.  She called her selection an “unbelievable honor.”

She promised to be a “hard worker.”

“I give you my word that I will work day and night to make sure that you’re the next governor,” Reynold said to Branstad. “…I’m really humbled that you chose me.  I will not let you down,”

Reynolds introduced her family, including her husband of 28 years, her grown daughtters, her grandchild, and her parents.

“We truly stand at a cross-roads today,” she said.  “…Iowans deserve better.  We can do better and we will.”

She pledged to be an aggressive candidate.  “I love people.  I love meeting people and I am so excited to criss-cross the state,” she said.

“The state’s kind of in rough shape right now,” Reynolds said.  “…Let’s go get ’em.”

Speeches over at 9:11 a.m.  Questions. 

Are you ready?

“Yes,” she said. “I would not have accepted this position if I wasn’t ready.”

Branstad added: “I have seen in Kim Reynolds somebody with real leadership ability…a good listener…and she’s older than she looks,” Branstad said. as laughter rang out.  “…she’s got youth and enthusiasm.”

Reynolds is 50 years old, but she “looks 40” according to Branstad.

Gender a factor in decision?

“Just happens to be a coincidence,” Branstad said. “The chemistry is good with our families…I think it’s important to have a good personal relationship too.”

Social issues?

“I am pro-life, pro-family,” Reynolds said. “I definitely believe that the definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.”

What does choice say to BVP supporters?

“I think it says to social conservatives is that here we have a rising, talented social conservative who has overcome adversity in her own life,” Branstad said.

What adversity?

“It’s been very public,” Reynolds said.  “…I’m very proud of my life and where it stands today…(I’m) very proud to be here and very proud of my life today.”

Branstad added: “Kim has overcome challenges like a lot of families in our state.”

Do you expect Reynolds name to be the only one placed in nomination at Saturday’s Iowa Republican Party state convention?

“Unlike the Democrats, we have an open process,” Branstad said. “We’re not going to gag the delegates.  I have stated my choice.  We’re not taking anything for granted.”

Branstad then talked about the 1956 Democratic National Convention when John Kennedy’s name was placed in nomination for vice president, even though Kennedy was not the presidential nominee’s choice.

Branstad said he was “confident” delegates would choose Reynolds this Saturday.  “I think we’ll see enthusiastic support,” Branstad said.

UPDATE:  a series of statements, news releases have come over the transom after the pick (surprisingly, no reaction from the Culver camp reaction from the Culver camp issued six hours after the Branstad/Reynolds event).  Read them below.

Branstad names state Sen. Kim Reynolds as his choice for lieutenant governor

(ANKENY) – Gov. Terry Branstad today announced that state Sen. Kim Reynolds will be his running mate in the Nov. 2 general election.

Citing her as a person who shares his core values and passion for leading Iowa’s comeback, Branstad welcomed her to the ticket during a 7-city statewide tour.

“It is with great pleasure I introduce you to the next lieutenant governor of the great state of Iowa, Kim Reynolds,” said Branstad. “She is a passionate advocate for rural development and is committed to helping bring jobs and economic opportunity into every corner of Iowa. For the past two years she has served in the Iowa Senate and many have praised her as an intelligent and articulate up-and-coming new leader in Iowa.”

In accepting Gov. Branstad’s offer, Reynolds noted the challenges Iowa faces and pledged to assist him with his job creation goals and balancing the state’s budget.

“Today we stand at a cross roads,” Reynolds said. “We have a state with more than 115,000 Iowans out of work and the highest unemployment rate in decades.  We have a projected state budget gap of nearly $1 billion dollars.  And we have seen a dramatic slide in student test scores and teacher layoffs in school districts across the state. We can do better.  We must do better.  And, as Terry Branstad’s running mate, I will dedicate my every waking minute to sharing with Iowans his ambitious goals for our future.”

Reynolds will be nominated and voted on at Saturday’s state Republican convention in Des Moines.

GOP Chairman Strawn Comments on Branstad LG Announcement
DES MOINES – Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn today congratulated Senator Kim Reynolds (R-Osceola), who was named today as Governor Terry Branstad’s selection for the Republican Lieutenant Governor nomination. The nomination of Sen. Reynolds will occur at Saturday’s 2010 Iowa GOP State Convention.
“Kim is a great friend, a hard-working public servant and will make an incredible partner in helping Governor Branstad restore principled, conservative leadership to Iowa.  As both party chairman and a delegate to the state convention, I look forward to supporting Sen. Reynolds’ nomination and working with my fellow Republicans to ensure the Branstad-Reynolds ticket is victorious this November.”

Kim Reynolds as the Lieutenant Governor selection is good for Iowa Taxpayers

MUSCATINE, IA— Ed Failor, Jr., President of Iowans for Tax Relief, said today, “The selection of Kim Reynolds for Lieutenant Governor brings forward a fresh new voice in leading Iowa’s comeback.

“Her dedication to streamline government and reduce the tax burden on Iowa families has always been a priority for Kim as a County Treasurer and as a State Senator. Kim Reynolds has been a long-time friend of Iowans for Tax Relief and all Iowa taxpayers. Her actions and voting record illustrate her commitment to lower taxes and limited government.

“The ticket of Terry Branstad and Kim Reynolds is good for Iowa taxpayers. This leadership team, on day one, will lead a pro-taxpayer agenda through the Iowa Legislature, and will lead Iowa forward.”

Iowans for Tax Relief PAC, sponsored by the 54,900-members Iowans for Tax Relief organization, last month gave their first ever endorsement in an Iowa governor primary to Terry Branstad. ITR PAC fully supports and endorses the Branstad-Reynolds ticket.

Christian Fong, the former GOP candidate for governor, issued a statement:

“Iowa’s last four years have seen nearly constant headlines of job losses, government scandals and struggling communities.  But the addition of Senator Kim Reynolds to the Branstad team makes me more optimistic than ever that we will see the rebuilding of Iowa’s communities, the transformation of Iowa’s economy and schools andthe restoration of the Iowa Dream.  Kim Reynolds is a friend, an experienced public servant and a great choice to be Iowa’s next Lieutenant Governor.  In the State Senate, she represented southwest Iowa’s rural counties in working for better jobs, transparency in government and thriving communities.  She is a public official who listens and serves, rather than dictates, from Des Moines.  I endorse the Branstad / Reynolds ticket because I believe that Iowa’s comeback needs their leadership and common-sense conservative solutions.”  

Statement from Senator Paul McKinley Regarding Governor Branstad’s Pick of Senator Kim Reynolds for Lieutenant Governor

DES MOINES – Senator Paul McKinley issued the following statement regarding the selection of Senator Kim Reynolds to join him on the ticket as Lieutenant Governor:

“It’s been an honor to serve with Kim for the last two years in the Iowa Senate. She has truly emerged as a leader not just in our caucus but also for the entire state. We will miss her presence in caucus and her leadership in the Senate, however, I feel I can speak for all Senate Republicans when I say we will do everything in our power to ensure she will be the next Lieutenant Governor of the state of Iowa.”

House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen supports Branstad pick

DES MOINES) – House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) released the following statement in response to Gov. Terry Branstad’s announcement of lieutenant governor nominee, Sen. Kim Reynolds:

“I applaud Gov. Branstad for choosing Sen. Kim Reynolds as his lieutenant governor nominee.  Sen. Reynolds is a strong voice for Iowa families and a conservative leader who will work hard to move our state forward.” 

David Funk Endorses Branstad / Reynolds ticket
Praises choice of Reynolds as a party unifier

URBANDALE, IA.  The Governor Branstad 2010 committee is proud to announce the endorsement of former congressional candidate and tea party activist David Funk for the just-named Branstad / Reynolds Republican ticket for Governor and Lt. Governor.

Funk said, “I am proud to endorse the ticket of Terry Branstad and Kim Reynolds.  They will be a dynamic team and will lead our statewide Republican ticket with energy and enthusiasm.  In choosing State Senator Kim Reynolds, Governor Branstad has chosen a strong capable partner who will help unify our party and bring us to victory in the fall.  They both have my enthusiastic support.”

David Funk was a Republican candidate for US Congress in Iowa’s 3rd District.

Scheffler hails selection of Kim Reynolds
Says Branstad was good to his word

URBANDALE, IA.  Iowa Republican National Committeeman Steve Scheffler today hailed Governor Branstad’s selection of State Senator Kim Reynolds as “an incredibly good choice” for Lt. Governor.

Scheffler said, “Governor Branstad promised Iowa Republicans he would select a running mate who shared his core values.  With the selection of Senator Reynolds he showed he was good to his word.  Senator Reynolds is an outstanding choice and someone not only Republicans, but all Iowans, can rally around in the months ahead.

“Governor Branstad and Senator Reynolds have my full support and I will personally work to help secure their election this November,” concluded Scheffler.

 Lehman adds her support for Kim Reynolds
Calls her a “true conservative”

URBANDALE, IA.  Iowa Republican National Committeewoman Kim Lehman added her voice to the growing list of Iowa Republicans who are singing the praises of Kim Reynolds as Governor Branstad’s running mate.

In a blog post today she praised Senator Reynolds for, among other things, supporting Iowa’s right-to-work law, for sponsoring legislation to improve the transparency of government taxes and spending, and for sponsoring legislation to protect our 2nd amendment rights.

In conclusion, she said:  “She is a true conservative.   I think she is a very good choice for lieutenant governor and I believe she will do us proud.”


DES MOINES – Terry Branstad has announced he has chosen Iowa State Senator Kim Reynolds to join him on the campaign trail.

“I welcome Kim Reynolds to the race. I’ve known her a long time and I look forward to an interesting race where we can discuss the issues Iowans care about, such as jobs, renewable energy, children’s health care and education, and veterans issues,” said Lt. Governor Patty Judge. “Because she has had a short time in the legislature, it will be important for her to share her views with Iowans on these important issues.”

“It will also be interesting to see if Kim can help Terry win back the nearly 50% of Republican primary vote that he lost on primary election day,” continued Judge. “It appears that Terry Branstad has chosen someone right out of his own camp rather than someone from either the Vander Plaats or Roberts camp.”

Likewise, from looking at her record, it appears that she may have trouble attracting moderate Republicans or Independents to Branstad’s campaign as Joy Corning did in past elections.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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