This afternoon, Rob Sand waved the white flag, announcing that he will postpone his dream of running for governor and will instead run for re-election as auditor.
With that announcement, it’s time to check in on our predictions from June, which were (drum roll) 100% correct.
✔️Rob Sand will run for re-election (not governor)
✔️Ras Smith will run for governor
✔️Deidre Dejear will run for governor
✔️Liz Mathis will challenge Ashley Hinson
✔️Tom Miller will run again
We also scooped Christina Bohannan’s plans to run against Congresswoman Marianeette Miller-Meeks.
— Iowa Field Report.com (@IAFieldReport) July 28, 2021
With that, Iowa Field Report has solidified itself as the go-to source for moves of Democratic politicians. Sorry, Iowa Starting Line.
What we said about Sand and the governor’s race is as true today as it was six months ago, with one addition: Word from the Wakonda Club is that the establishment Democratic donors are not happy with their choice of Smith or DeJear and are working behind the scenes to get someone with their establishment sensitivities into the race.
If Sand endorses one of the candidates, that might help the donor enthusiasm gap. So now that he’s officially out of the governor’s race we’ll see if he throws his moneyed influence behind Smith or DeJear, or whether he too will try to recruit someone else to run the suicide mission against Kim Reynolds.
And suicidal it would be. Last week, the Cook Political Report moved the Iowa governor’s race from a “Likely Republican” to “Solid Republican,” a national sign of what Iowans already know.
— Iowa Field Report.com (@IAFieldReport) December 3, 2021
Will Rob Sand run for governor?
The “yes” people say OF COURSE HE WILL! He’s been dreaming of this day since he was 12, and to paraphrase Starship, ♫Nothing’s gonna stop him now!♫ He can’t help himself, they say; he is so arrogant, and so craving the limelight that he won’t be able to stay away.
The “no” people say, yes, he is arrogant and all of those things. But he’s not a dummy, and he’s scared as hell—both of Reynolds and a Democrat primary. If you’ve been paying attention to Sand’s favorite medium (that’s Twitter, for first-time readers), you’ll see that a lot of Iowa Dems aren’t a fan of the Bow Hunting Influencer of Iowa Democrats. A few months ago, the rumor goes, Jerry Crawford made a Rob Sand pitch to some of the Democrat-powers-that-be and was met with a “we don’t really like that guy.”
Ras Smith is all but in for governor, and some say that Sand’s polling showed Smith winning the primary.
And that doesn’t account for the other entrant to the governor’s race: losing 2018 Secretary of State candidate Deidre DeJear. She’s going to announce any day now (some say this week) and will be backed by Emily’s List, among others.
Sand won in 2018, and DeJear lost. But DeJear wasn’t able to outspend her opponent by a million to 1. And if you don’t count Sand’s family money, DeJear was right there with him in the fundraising category.
People also forget that of the 2018 Democrat undercard, DeJear was actually the star in liberal circles. That’s where the excitement was. Sand was the only winner, but, again, that’s what money will do for you.
Add that all up, and what do you get? Sand isn’t running. Not for governor anyway. He’ll run for reelection, act as the cheerleader for whomever Democrats nominate, and bide his time for 2026.