About three dozen Iowans waiting for Governor Kim Reynolds at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport Monday afternoon were delighted when she walked out with a posse of fellow Republicans, including Senator Joni Ernst, who was in full campaign mode sporting a red “Kim Reynolds 2018” t-shirt.
The group included Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, state auditor Mary Mosiman, state secretary of agriculture Mike Naig, secretary of state Paul Pate and state treasurer candidate Jeremy Davis. Reynold’s husband, who she refers to as Iowa’s “first dude,” Kevin Reynolds, was also in the crowd.
The group boasted the state’s $600 million in cash reserves, $125 million surplus, it’s record investment in K-12 education and that U.S. News and World Report ranked Iowa as the number one state in the nation this year.
“Iowa’s a state that’s getting things done,” Reynolds said. “It’s this Republican team that’s getting things done. Iowa is moving in the right direction and the facts are undeniable. We’re the number one state in the country.”
She said Iowa has the second-lowest unemployment in the nation, is the third best-managed state, and wages are going up and taxes are going down.
“This really drives our opponents crazy,” Reynolds said. “The budget is balanced. The cash reserves are full! We have a $125 million surplus!”
Democrats, she said, want to take the state back to the days of the [Chet] Culver administration when Iowa “had high unemployment, massive spending, massive debt,” was borrowing money and had a bigger government.
She then enthusiastically “booed” that plan with the help of the crowd.
Gregg chimed in to reiterate Reynold’s pride in the state's budget, which he said includes $600 million in cash reserves. Eight years ago, he said, Democrats were annually spending $900 million more than they took in.
Ernst, however, spent her time at the microphone speaking against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell.
Hubbell, Ernst said, recently told a reporter that Iowa isn’t the number one state in the nation.
“Can you believe that folks?” Ernst asked the crowd. “He’s running for governor and he doesn’t believe this is the greatest state in the nation.”
Mosiman, a certified public accountant, spoke about her auditing experience over chants of “CPA, CPA”
Her opponent, Democrat Rob Sand, is not a certified CPA.
“If we elect a non CPA to this office, we will no longer be able to audit,” Mosiman said. “We will have to outsource the auditing we’ve been doing for nearly 40 consecutive years and that will have consequences.”
She said it’ll cost $5 million more per year if the state auditor’s office isn’t able to audit.
Davis, who’s running for state treasurer, told the crowd his party doesn’t want to dismantle or destroy IPERS, despite recent rumor.
“My opponent was in Red Oak about two weeks ago and aside the Republicans want to dismantle IPERS,” Davis said. “I can tell you straight out that this is a lie. I have no plan on destroying IPERS, as well as Governor Kim Reynolds is fully committed to maintaining IPERS.”