“A mixture of rumor, fact, and speculation.” That was the subject of Michael Gartner’s Civic Skinny column earlier this month, where he blessed us with a few paragraphs of the “some people say” style that the Pulitzer Prize newspaperman has stooped to over the last decade. (Honestly, he’s an inspiration.)
Gartner’s political rumors, facts, and speculation were bipartisan. Still, they were mostly directed at the right side of the spectrum—including the idea that Kim Reynolds might not run for reelection (hahahahaha!) might primary Chuck Grassley (I can’t even type it with a straight face) and is being recruited to run for Senate by Joni Ernst (where do they even dream up of this stuff?).
Gartner is informed about some things from his Cub Club perch atop Sec Taylor Field, but as he proved in his column, the goings-on of Republican politicians isn’t one of them, perhaps because his source comes from the Ray administration. Or because there’s no source at all, other than Democrats talking to each other about what they don’t know. But either way, it’s a fun game, this mixture of rumor, fact, and speculation about the other side’s political moves. So with a tip of the hat to Gartner, we’ll give it a try.
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.
What About J.D. Scholten?
Some say he’s going to throw in for Senate, knowing that a repeat against Randy Feenstra is an act of insanity (doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results). Some say he knows what everyone else knows: Abby Finkenauer’s campaign is a joke. (For goodness sakes, Iowa Field Report announced her candidacy!). And some say JD’s going to run for Secretary of State. (Okay, I just made that up).
Storytime: Apparently, the Iowa Democratic Party sat JD down for a chat back before the primary. In that chat, IDP promised JD that if he managed to win the 4th district, he would be the chosen one to go up against Grassley this year. Obviously, that didn’t work out for him, but he’s going to spill the beans on his plans on the 13th of July according to Twitter.
Then there’s Cindy Axne. Right now, she’s just angry that her liberal colleagues are making her take crappy votes and that Joe Manchin isn’t playing along. And she’s waiting for the Congressional maps, of course.
Some say that she hates running for office every two years, so she wants that Senate seat. But her chances of winning against Grassley are in the Lloyd Christmas “So you’re telling me there’s a chance” range, so she’s also waiting on Iowa’s Senior Senator to make his decision.
Finally, there’s the problem that all Iowan Democrats face: they can’t convince national donors that Iowa is in play. Since 2012, it’s a state that’s gone from purple to light red to maroon. Just ask those who dropped millions on Theresa Greenfield.
But what bout Eastern Iowa
Clinton lover (no, not the city, the loser) Liz Mathis, the two-time endorser of Hillary, will run for Congress against Ashely Hinson. Anchor vs. Anchor. Where have we seen this before?
Proving he’s got a better head on his shoulders than Liz, State Senator Kevin Kinny turned down the DCCC when they asked if he’d run against Mariannette Miller-Meeks.
Yup. this is their A team, folks.
Oh yeah, Tom Miller’s running.
With that, the rumor, fact, and speculation are at an end. (Until tomorrow.) Stay cool, everybody.