Cedar Rapids Mayor and GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron Corbett reports a successful initial fundraising effort since announcing his candidacy three weeks ago.
At a Des Moines news conference, Corbett said he has raised more than $1 million, including $800,000 in cash and additional thousands in commitments, without taking money from political action committees.
Governor Reynolds has reported having $1 million in her campaign war chest.
Corbett said that was raised over the course of a year with Gov. Branstad’s help.
“I didn't have Gov. Branstad’s help,” Corbett said. “What this shows is that people around the state of Iowa aren't bought into this establishment narrative that the race is over before it starts.”
Corbett said the Republican establishment which has lined up behind Gov. Reynolds is trying to “not have” a primary election.
“They’ve done a lot of work trying to convince people that I don't have a chance,” Corbett said. “That narrative is a fake narrative.”
Corbett is challenging Reynolds to not take contributions from PACs, special interest groups, or Washington lobbyists.
He has also called on Reynolds to turn down contributions from the Republican Governor’s Association, a major contributor to the Branstad-Reynolds campaigns in the past.
Corbett says he believes he can eventually raise $2 million which he says will enable him to wage a credible challenge. But he admits he’s the underdog.
“I don’t expect that I will outspend Kim Reynolds in this race,” Corbett said. “She's got many of the political donors lined up and the establishment has lined up behind her.”
Iowa’s U.S. Senators Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst were announced as co-chairs of the Reynolds campaign this week.
Campaign Manager Phil Valenziano released a statement saying they are pleased to have the support of Iowa's two U.S. Senators as well as hundreds of local volunteers who've agreed to be grassroots leaders.
“We look forward to adding to their ranks, building the strongest grassroots campaign in Iowa history, and leading the whole GOP team to victory in November 2018,” Valenziano said.
Both Corbett and Reynolds say they will disclose more donor information next year as the law requires.