The race for governor really has not been much of a contest.
Forget the poll numbers, it’s clear that state Sen. Jack Hatch just doesn’t have any credible answers to Gov. Terry Branstad’s successes over this past term.
The governor touts these more important numbers and facts:
Moved the state forward from a projected $1 billion spending gap to a $700 million budget surplus;
Unemployment reduced nearly 30 percent (6.1 percent to 4.5 percent) since he assumed office in January of 2011;
More than 146,000 jobs created;
$9 billion in economic development creation;
Personal incomes growing fifth fastest in the nation;
Trimmed government costs by reducing the number of state employees by more than 1,400;
Created the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan as an alternative to Obamacare expansion;
Increased water quality funding by 26 percent.
Those are just a few, but it’s evident the Branstad administration is effectively leading the state into a more prosperous future following the uncertainty of a shaky economic climate that hampered the state beforehand.
Part of the Branstad success story is his willingness to work across the aisle.
While there have been some partisan battles, the governor has been fairly consistent in his commitment to seek solutions that will benefit all Iowans, not just Republicans, and has offered praise to Democrats who are just as committed to the good ideas that help everyone.
There are concerns that his administration is not as transparent as it needs to be, including issues related to the Iowa Veterans Home and Iowa Workforce Development. Those are issues that his administration must address and vow not to repeat if he is re-elected.
Terry Branstad has been in office for nearly 20 years; we see no reason why he shouldn’t serve another four.