The leaders of the Republican Party of Iowa held a joint news conference on Thursday to announce a unified effort for this fall’s state house and senate elections. The action plan, titled “Iowa Strong”, will focus on three basic principles: a strong economy, strong budget leadership, and strong schools/communities.
“I’ve always been a believer that when you run for election you need to lay out what your vision and what your plans are for the future,” Governor Branstad said. “And then, once elected, you need to follow through and work to accomplish what you promised.”
Joining Branstad at the news conference were RPI Chairman A.J. Spiker, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Senate Republican Leader Jerry Behn, House Speaker Kraig Paulsen and House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer. Together, they will compile specific details for the plan and encourage candidates to run on that agenda in the fall.
“We’re kind of laying this out today at the 30,000 foot level,” Paulsen said. “You should anticipate that some time next month we will be laying these out in greater detail.”
“One of the things we really want to concentrate on this legislative session is to promote job creation through regulatory reform,” said Senate Republican Leader Jerry Behn. “We also want to work on tax relief and reform. We want to increase career opportunities by investing in a skilled and competitive workforce.”
Republicans plan to unveil the full plan by the beginning of October. “Voters will know that we have a serious and united Republican Party that will deliver on these critical issues that we intend to campaign on,” Branstad said.
A handful of state senators and representatives were also on hand for the news conference. The Republican leaders hope to present a unified front heading into the November elections. However, they are not requiring GOP candidates to back the plan.
“I fully understand that not every member is going to endorse every aspect or proposal,” Branstad said. “But these are basic, solid, Republican ideas that can build a kind of strong Iowa for the future. We are confident that it’s going to be something that will have broad-based support from Republican candidates both for the House and the Senate.”
The leaders hope that by having everyone working on a common agenda in the campaign, they will be able to accomplish more in the legislative sessions over the next two years. Of course, taking control of the Iowa senate is priority number one. Right now, Democrats hold a 26-24 advantage.