Democrat Deidre DeJear lays out her vision for the Iowa gubernatorial race

Accepting her party’s nomination on Saturday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deidre DeJear said if elected, she would work to make all Iowans feel like they belong.

DeJear drew on the state’s history of equality and educational excellence as she made her case and criticized incumbent Governor Kim Reynolds.

“We have to focus on the Iowans,” DeJear told reporters after his speech. “We’ve had opportunity after opportunity to see something from this current governor, but now we know from the evidence, from the fruits of her labor, that she’s not focused on Iowa.”

DeJear told the hundreds of cheering Democrats gathered at their party’s state convention in Des Moines on Saturday that Iowa could once again be No. 1 in education. She said Iowa can ensure health care is affordable and accessible to everyone, strengthen workers’ rights, and strengthen voting rights.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deidre DeJear addresses delegates at the Iowa Democratic Party State Convention at the Iowa Events Center Saturday, June 18, 2022 in Des Moines.

And, DeJear said, Iowa can make sure all of its residents feel welcome in the state, no matter where they live, whether urban or rural, or their backgrounds, including people of color. and LGBTQ people.

“We can do it,” she told the crowd. “We can do that in Iowa.”

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DeJear, an activist and small business owner, would be Iowa’s first black state administrator if elected governor in November.

His running mate is Lieutenant Governor candidate Eric Van Lancker, the Clinton County auditor. She faces a tough race against Reynolds, an incumbent Republican seeking his second full term.

DeJear underscored the historic nature of his candidacy, citing Iowa’s place as the first state where schools were desegregated, among the first where same-sex couples could marry, and as the state that served as a springboard. to Barack Obama for the presidency.

“Remember what we’re capable of, Iowa,” DeJear said.

Van Lancker said voting rights and public education are at stake and that Iowa needs new leaders.

“This leadership requires a lot of self-awareness, confidence and faith,” he said. “When I talk about that kind of leadership, it’s sorely lacking in our state today.”

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As an auditor, Van Lancker organizes elections in his county. He said he and DeJear will work to improve Iowa’s electoral process and said democracy is on the line in the fall election.

“This team will take care of the people of Iowa. We will care about the issues you face every day,” Van Lancker said. “It won’t be about the issues they use to try to divide us, distract us and distract us from the terrible results of their terrible decisions that only help special interests and corporations.”

What DeJear said about Kim Reynolds

DeJear and Van Lancker said they want to expand economic development in all of Iowa’s counties, not just its rapidly growing urban areas. This includes increasing housing for the workforce and creating public sector jobs for youth in their communities.

DeJear said they wanted to give young Iowans reasons to stay in the state and their communities instead of leaving after turning 18.

“We know people in Iowa don’t have hammocks right now,” she said, saying the state needs to find ways to keep teachers, health care workers and health care providers child care in their jobs.

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Referencing a recent Iowa Supreme Court ruling that the right to abortion is not protected by the state constitution, DeJear said Republican policies on cultural and economic issues alienate state people.

“I’m focused on Iowa, because that’s what the people of Iowa deserve, it’s a governor who’s going to see them, see their challenges, and put pen to paper to find solutions,” he said. said DeJear.

Instead, she said Republicans in the Iowa Legislature are passing “cookie-cutter bills” that are bad for the state.

DeJear said his running mate Van Lancker would bring his experience as a Democratic listener to a county that voted for Donald Trump to work across the aisle and defend local officials. She said the Democratic ticket will bring balance to counter the divisions in the state.

Eric Van Lancker, candidate for lieutenant governor, addresses the Iowa Democratic Party State Convention at the Iowa Events Center Saturday, June 18, 2022 in Des Moines.  Van Lancker is currently the Clinton County Auditor.

“Clinton County is a lot like 90 other counties in the state,” Van Lancker said. “It’s the people who work hard, but they work together to serve each other. And that’s what it’s all about, and that’s what we’re looking to do as a team in this campaign.”

Reynolds led DeJear in a Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll conducted in March. Likely voters backed Reynolds 51% to 43% over DeJear, with a 4% margin of error.

Respondents were mostly split by party – at least 90% of Republicans and Democrats said they would select their respective party’s nominee – while Reynolds led DeJear among independents 49% to 41%.

Chris Higgins is a writer covering politics and local government at the Register. Contact him at [email protected] or 515-423-5146 and follow him on Twitter @chris_higgins_.

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