Reynolds to supporters: Democrats would reverse Republican wins

By: - October 1, 2022 9:38 pm

Gov. Kim Reynolds addresses supporters at her fifth annual Harvest Festival fundraising event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Oct. 1, 2022. (Photo by Robin Opsahl/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Gov. Kim Reynolds railed against the Biden administration and told the crowd at a fundraiser Saturday that electing Democrats would roll back Republican initiatives of her previous terms.

Iowa kept businesses and schools open during the COVID-19 pandemic, supported law enforcement and cut taxes, Reynolds said at her Harvest Festival event. She claimed Democrats in D.C. are hiring 87,000 new IRS agents but no new border patrol agents.

Her remarks referred to the Inflation Reduction Act that included $80 billion for the Internal Revenue Service over the next decade. Republicans have said the increased spending would add 87,000 IRS agents but Democrats say the money is needed to improve tax compliance. The IRS has not announced how many new agents it would hire.

Supporters at the Iowa State Fairgrounds’ Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center cheered when Reynolds said she was filing a lawsuit against Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness program. Iowa’s state universities have increased tuition for students in light of budget cuts and reduced appropriations in recent years.

“When you’re watching the news and you see what’s happening, you have to wonder: Has the rest of the country lost its mind?” Reynolds said, echoing her latest campaign television ad. “Aren’t you glad you live in Iowa?”

Iowa Democrats think New York, California and D.C. have it right, the governor said. She criticized her opponent, Democrat Deidre DeJear, for not supporting Voter ID laws and for not standing with law enforcement “when it matters.”

DeJear faced Republican criticism for not standing up during part of Reynolds’ Condition of the State message that honored police. However, DeJear disputes Reynolds’ assertions that she would defund the police, saying more resources are needed.

Reynolds did not talk about what she would do if  re-elected. But, she said, if Iowans do not re-elect Republicans to state and federal offices, Democrats could reverse pro-police, anti-abortion and gun rights measures and tax cuts passed under GOP leadership.

“The Iowa Democratic Party has lost sight of hard-working Iowans,” Reynolds said. “And if elected, all the good things that we’ve done over the last four years will go away.”

It’s the fifth year Reynolds has hosted the Harvest Festival, an annual fundraising event. As speakers rallied for a “Red Wave” in November and campaign ads of other Iowa Republican candidates played, supporters were treated to a BBQ dinner. Face painting, balloon animal and pumpkin decorating booths were set up for children.

Hunt: Iowa is the ‘Texas of the Midwest’

Wesley Hunt, a Texas Republican congressional candidate, spoke at the event as a special guest. Hunt, a Black conservative, won a crowded Republican primary in a majority white, deep red congressional district in Houston.

Iowa and Texas share a lot of values, he joked, saying Iowa is “the Texas of the Midwest.” He’s come to Iowa often because his wife’s family lives in the state, he said, and shared his own family history. His great-great grandfather was a slave, he said, and three of their great-great grandchildren attended West Point Military Academy, earned Ivy League degrees, and have served in combat for the U.S. military.

“That’s just my story, it’s also your story,” Hunt said. “This is America’s story.”

He called for Iowans to vote for Reynolds and GOP congressional candidates to help win back power from Biden and the Democratic Party. Hunt said he’s confident in the future of the Republican Party, and America’s future, because of the enthusiasm he sees while campaigning.

“Quite frankly, I’m not concerned for our country, not one bit,” he said. “Because you’re here on a Saturday and you don’t have to be here. You are here supporting one of the greatest governors in our union today. Thank you.”

Other Iowa Republicans, including U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, U.S. Reps. Ashley Hinson, Mariannette Miller-Meeks and 3rd District candidate Zach Nunn spoke at the event. Grassley said if Republicans win in November, he and Ernst will keep working with Reynolds on issues from supporting ethanol to reducing inflation.

“We’re proud that you’re our governor,” Grassley said. “We’re going to do everything to keep your common-sense leadership in place and I’m proud to be on the ticket with you, and we’ll be campaigning together as much as we can.”

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Robin Opsahl
Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl is an Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter covering the state Legislature and politics. Robin has experience covering government, elections and more at media organizations including Roll Call, the Sacramento Bee and the Wausau Daily Herald, in addition to working on multimedia projects, newsletters and visualizations. They were a political reporter for the Des Moines Register covering the Iowa caucuses leading up to the 2020 presidential election, assisting with the Register's Iowa Poll, and reporting on Iowa's 4th District elections.

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