Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.
Vander Plaats won’t run for governor or endorse Branstad
Bob Vander Plaats, the runner up for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, won’t make a third-party bid for governor this fall, sources close to Vander Plaats told The Iowa Independent. However, he also will not endorse the Republican nominee, Terry Branstad.
Instead, the Sioux City businessman who captured 42 percent of the vote in the June Republican primary will announce Friday that he is launching an initiative to campaign for the ouster of the Iowa Supreme Court justices who will appear on the ballot for a retention vote this fall. Overturning the court’s ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa was the centerpiece of Vander Plaats failed gubernatorial bid. He promised his supporters that he would issue an executive order voiding the ruling, an idea constitutional scholars, legal experts and even his fellow Republicans said was not constitutional. Even Vander Plaats admitted the move would likely lead to his own impeachment.
Vander Plaats stirred rumors Thursday when he sent out a press release announcing a news conference for Friday morning. Many wondered if this meant Vander Plaats was going to run as an independent, an idea he has been openly mulling since losing to Branstad in a divisive GOP primary.
Numerous sources close to both Vander Plaats and Branstad told to The Iowa Independent last month that the two former rivals were close to coming to terms on a deal for Vander Plaats to endorse Branstad in exchange for a position in a future Branstad administration. Those sources now say the deal could not be finalized.
Thursday night, Vander Plaats alerted the media that Friday’s news conference will now be held at the Iowa Judicial Building in downtown Des Moines.