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Leopold Joins Race for Governor

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Our next election may be two years out but the first official Democratic candidate for Governor has emerged.

The former DNR head under Culver made his entrance official via a Facebook live message on Thursday.

The Huxley native launched a website where he set the tone as a fiscally conservative populist.

“A fiscally conservative Democrat, Rich Leopold, is an Iowan for Iowans. He is stepping forward to be the voice of local Iowans’ interests.

Through his life as a son of a packing plant worker, Rich has learned how hard work rewards. Guided by his motto of planning for the future, he sees how Iowans long for leadership that understands and positively impacts our lives while giving us the liberty we know we deserve.  After raising his family in Iowa, Rich has given all his energy to pulling together this understanding into a meaningful way to affect Iowans. Through his understanding of farming, environmental practices, city development, security, and social issues, he is poised to bring the strong leadership Iowa has been longing for. Rich has led through a magnitude of opportunities in his career, and is now considering how to best use his background and skills to benefit all Iowans and Grow Iowa!”

The Libertarian Party which earned full political party status due to the performance of presidential candidate Gary Johnson has an announced gubernatorial candidate in Jake Porter.

Porter has twice run for Secretary of State as a Libertarian.

Former 2014 Branstad primary challenger, Tom Hoefling, just ran a campaign for president under the “America’s Party” banner”. Hoefling told the Iowa Statesman that if he enters the gubernatorial race once again it would only be on the America’s Party ticket.

Cedar Rapids Mayor, Ron Corbett, is still contemplating a run as a Republican in a primary.  The former speaker of the Iowa House made it official in December that he would not seek reelection to lead the second biggest city in Iowa. His announcement came knowing he would face  Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds who is expressed to be the incumbent as Governor Terry Branstad leaves office to serve as Ambassador to China.

Cedar Rapids State Senator, Liz Mathis, is still the most mentioned Democratic gubernatorial candidate.  However, her name floating around activists circles may fade now that Leopold has made his bid official   Other names mentioned among activists are Charles City Rep Todd Prichard, Jasper County political heavyweight, Senator Chaz Allen and rural State Senator Amanda Reagan.  These candidates are all on the ballot in their incumbent seats in 2018 and would leave districts in rural areas that would be very difficult to maintain by Democrats.  The former Lt. Gov. Candidate, Dr. Andy McGuire is still expected to make a run for governor despite presiding over the Iowa Democratic Party during their worst election cycle perhaps ever in our state.

The holidays are over and election season has once again begun in the First in the Nation State.

–John Thompson of Jefferson is a graduate of West Point and Harvard University. He is a candidate for State Treasurer and serves on the State Central Committee for the Republican Party of Iowa.