In unusual move, Gov. Kim Reynolds endorses an Iowa Republican lawmaker's primary opponent

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
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Gov. Kim Reynolds has endorsed the primary challenger running against Republican state Rep. Jon Thorup — an aggressive move that targets one of the opponents of her plan to give families taxpayer money to pay private school expenses.

It's highly unusual for a governor to endorse the opponent of an elected official of their own political party. Reynolds' announcement comes as a large number of House Republicans have opposed her education bill, which she has made one of her top legislative priorities.

Wednesday was the first day of early voting for Iowa's June 7 primary.

Thorup, a Knoxville Republican, faces a challenge from Barb Kniff McCulla, a construction company owner from Pella. Thorup, an Iowa State Patrol trooper, was first elected in 2018 and is seeking a third term this year. His fellow House Republicans have elected him as an assistant majority leader during both his terms.


"Barb knows how to grow a business, create jobs, and will help our rural communities thrive," Reynolds said in a news release announcing the endorsement. "I am proud to endorse her and encourage Iowans in the district to get out and vote for her in the Republican Primary on June 7th."

More:Early voting for Iowa's 2022 primary election begins today. Here's what you need to know to vote


Kniff McCulla said Reynolds is moving Iowa in the right direction and she'll be "fighting alongside her."

"I look forward to working with Gov. Reynolds to advance conservative legislation in Iowa and that includes cutting taxes, supporting law enforcement and promoting parental choice in education," she said in the release.

Thorup is one of several House Republican lawmakers who oppose Reynolds' bill, Senate File 2369, which would divert $55 million that would otherwise go to public schools to provide 10,000 students with scholarships to pay private school expenses.


In an interview with the Des Moines Register last week, Thorup said he's "a hard no" on the governor's bill. While he doesn't necessarily oppose the concept, he said "a lot of times the devil is in the details, and I think that's the case here."

"I think we need to make sure that our public schools are very, very strong," he said. "And I have nothing against private schools but I think that we need to make sure our public schools are very, very solid."

Thorup said he frequently hears concerns about the proposal from Republican voters on the campaign trail.

"I think many people in rural Iowa are very concerned that that could mean the end of their small school districts at some point — not today, not tomorrow but maybe five or 10 years down the road," he said. "There’s just a lot of fear amongst even a lot of Republicans."

The impasse over Reynolds' education proposal has held up the conclusion of the Iowa Legislature's annual session for weeks as Reynolds seeks to convince House Republican holdouts. It's not clear if the measure will pass this year.

 

lucas80

HR King
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Jan 30, 2008
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I guess Kimmie only mouths the words, "Back the blue", when she can gain from it politically.
It's nice to see her trying to feast on one of her own. Thorup probably votes with Kimmie 99 percent of the time, but one bit of independence that benefits rural Iowans and he's gotta go!
 
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Tom Paris

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Oct 1, 2001
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Gov. Kim Reynolds has endorsed the primary challenger running against Republican state Rep. Jon Thorup — an aggressive move that targets one of the opponents of her plan to give families taxpayer money to pay private school expenses.

It's highly unusual for a governor to endorse the opponent of an elected official of their own political party. Reynolds' announcement comes as a large number of House Republicans have opposed her education bill, which she has made one of her top legislative priorities.

Wednesday was the first day of early voting for Iowa's June 7 primary.

Thorup, a Knoxville Republican, faces a challenge from Barb Kniff McCulla, a construction company owner from Pella. Thorup, an Iowa State Patrol trooper, was first elected in 2018 and is seeking a third term this year. His fellow House Republicans have elected him as an assistant majority leader during both his terms.


"Barb knows how to grow a business, create jobs, and will help our rural communities thrive," Reynolds said in a news release announcing the endorsement. "I am proud to endorse her and encourage Iowans in the district to get out and vote for her in the Republican Primary on June 7th."

More:Early voting for Iowa's 2022 primary election begins today. Here's what you need to know to vote


Kniff McCulla said Reynolds is moving Iowa in the right direction and she'll be "fighting alongside her."

"I look forward to working with Gov. Reynolds to advance conservative legislation in Iowa and that includes cutting taxes, supporting law enforcement and promoting parental choice in education," she said in the release.

Thorup is one of several House Republican lawmakers who oppose Reynolds' bill, Senate File 2369, which would divert $55 million that would otherwise go to public schools to provide 10,000 students with scholarships to pay private school expenses.


In an interview with the Des Moines Register last week, Thorup said he's "a hard no" on the governor's bill. While he doesn't necessarily oppose the concept, he said "a lot of times the devil is in the details, and I think that's the case here."

"I think we need to make sure that our public schools are very, very strong," he said. "And I have nothing against private schools but I think that we need to make sure our public schools are very, very solid."

Thorup said he frequently hears concerns about the proposal from Republican voters on the campaign trail.

"I think many people in rural Iowa are very concerned that that could mean the end of their small school districts at some point — not today, not tomorrow but maybe five or 10 years down the road," he said. "There’s just a lot of fear amongst even a lot of Republicans."

The impasse over Reynolds' education proposal has held up the conclusion of the Iowa Legislature's annual session for weeks as Reynolds seeks to convince House Republican holdouts. It's not clear if the measure will pass this year.

Not fascist.