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The Conservative Reader:

paul-mckinley-2My buddy Tim Albrecht at The Bean Walker sent out this exclusive update today:

In an exclusive Bean Walker interview, Senate Republican leader Paul McKinley says he will file the necessary paperwork to form a gubernatorial exploratory committee.

He says he will remain focused on his job as the Senate GOP leader, and expects to come to a decision “by early fall.”

McKinley will join Bob Vander Plaats, Rep. Chris Rants and Christian Fong, who have all filed the necessary paperwork in their potential runs for governor.

Full story by clicking here:

This is turning into a fairly respectable field, and not too awry from what I would have expected, although Christian Fong had only come to my attention a couple of weeks ago.

The candidates are still working through the initial “Who Am I, Really?” phase of their campaigns, from what I think I know about these candidates we can probably expect Vander Plaats to be more heavily focused on social issues than the rest of the field, while McKinley will be very focused on fiscal issues.  I’ve met all of these gentlemen at least once with the exception of Fong (who my friend David Chung tried to introduce to me at the Night of The Rising Stars Iowa GOP event in June, but didn’t work out), and those that I’ve met seem to have a good personality for the job.  Fact is, I still don’t know much about any of them.

Unfortunately, it’s going to be difficult to get a good read on where the candidates stand on the issues that Iowans will care about in 2010 just yet.  Partly because we don’t know what those issues will be (although I strongly suspect it will be all about the state budget, spending and taxation).  So, like most long campaigns (11 months to the June 8, 2010 primary), our perception of how well each of these men would serve will be formed and reformed until we get into the Spring of 2010.

A couple of comments:

  1. I am please to see an ethnically diverse candidate (Fong) in the mix.  It is refreshing to see more and more people from diverse cultures step up and offer their skills as leaders in our communities, and we should do all we can to encourage folks like Christian to step out and lead.
  2. I think it is time to see some women consider running for Governor.  For the past several years, I was represented in both the Iowa House and Senate by women (Libby Jacobs, who stepped down last year, and Pat Ward).  I have know a number of other women legislators from around the state and they all provide strong leadership.  While I am not advocating any specific person, it would be great to start seeing some of these women considering a run for Governor, and not to run because they are women, but because they have been gifted with the skills and vision to lead our state.  I believe some of them have, and that should be reason enough.

Linda Lantor Fandel expressed similar thoughts about the presence of women on the Supreme Court yesterday in the Des Moines Register.  I think, if I grasped her point correctly, that she and I both agree that the key issue in political diversity is not voting for someone or appointing someone because of their gender or ethnicity, but rather the grasping of opportunities by women and ethnically diverse individuals.  No one should feel constrained or limited because they are not male or white.

And just think, before this is all over, we will be starting to look at candidates for President for 2012.  We never get a break, do we?

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