Iowa GOP candidates rally locally for support

Just two days removed from the primary election, Iowa Republican candidates are getting a headstart on campaigning for the Nov. 4 general election. The party brought many of its heaviest hitters to Legends in Marshalltown Thursday and drew a crowd of 70 people.

Included were Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, who are seeking re-election this fall, as well as U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst and U.S. House 1st District candidate Rod Blum.

Ernst and Blum are both fresh off big primary victories as is the Branstad-Reynolds duo.

The Branstad campaign is touting a better state economy than four years ago and a lower unemployment rate as some of its accomplishments.

“I’m really proud of the comeback we are leading in the state of Iowa,” Branstad said.

Reynolds said Iowa has balanced the budget without raising taxes.

“I’m proud to say Iowa has a growing economy,” Reynolds said.

This stop was part of 14-city, post-primary swing through Iowa for the group.

“We’ve seen energy and passion and momentum all across the state of Iowa,” Reynolds said.

Perhaps the candidate with the most momentum is Ernst, who will go head-to-head with U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, on Nov. 4.

“I’m absolutely humbled by the support I’ve received from across the state of Iowa,” Ernst said.

Ernst said Braley does not think of what is best for Iowans when he votes in Washington, but rather just takes orders from Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.

“He has been a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama,” Ernst said.

Braley has recently released ads attacking Ernst for her stance as a person who would cut pork since she had no record of that in Des Moines as a state senator. A member of the Ernst campaign said she would not answer questions from the media Thursday at Legends.

Blum will take on Democrat Pat Murphy this fall and Blum said he would bring “Iowa common sense” to Washington.

One of his biggest focuses would be to tackle the national debt.

“I think it’s immoral to put that kind of debt on (future generations),” Blum said.

Other statewide candidates or potential candidates in attendance Thursday were State Auditor Mary Mosiman, Secretary of State candidate Paul Pate, and hopeful Attorney General candidate Adam Gregg. Gregg was not on the primary ballot but hopes to get on the fall ballot after the Republican convention.