CEDAR FALLS — Gov. Kim Reynolds brought her election announcement tour to the Cedar Valley, emphasizing her story underscores a theme of her campaign — anything is possible in Iowa.
She stopped Friday at Hy-Vee at College Square, noting she worked as a checker at a Hy-Vee when she lived in Mount Pleasant as she and her husband raised their three daughters.
“That’s what it took to make ends meet,” she said. That income, she said, bought groceries, gas and “maybe a new outfit for the girls,” was “a big deal,” — just as recent federal and proposed state tax cuts will mean extra money in the pockets of working Iowans.
“We want to continue to make sure you get to keep more of that hard-earned money in your paycheck,” she said.
A grocery checker, working mom, courthouse employee, state lawmaker, college graduate at age 57 and Iowa’s first woman governor, Reynolds said it’s never too late to achieve success if you’re willing to work for it.
“It’s reflective of the opportunities that exist between our borders,” said Reynolds. “We are a state where if you work hard and dream big, anything is possible.”
Rep. Walt Rogers, R-Cedar Falls, worked with Reynolds in the Legislature. “Governor Reynolds is an innovator. She’s always thinking outside the box, always thinking of better ways to get things done,” he said.
While Reynolds spoke to about 40 supporters, a dozen picketers along University Avenue had a different message, organized by a group called Direct Action Cedar Valley.
“The policies being pushed through the Legislature this year are going to have long-term consequences on all of Iowa and are damaging and hurtful to hard-working Iowans,” said Sarah Eastman, an organizer.
She was concerned about budget cuts, including potential cuts to the University of Northern Iowa, and local governments possibly not receiving “backfill” money under state property tax reform legislation.
Inside, Reynolds focused on the positive.
“I’m here to tell you that there’s a lot great things happening in the state of Iowa,” said Reynolds, armed with a week-old U.S. News & World Report study rating Iowa as the best state in the country.
“We can’t become complacent. We can’t let up. We can’t be satisfied with the status quo,” she said. “We’re working every single day to make Iowa a better place to live, work and raise a family.”
Priorities include making health care more affordable; comprehensive mental health reform and investment in education and tax cuts.
Reynolds served as lieutenant governor seven years and became governor last May when President Trump named Gov. Terry Branstad ambassador to China.
Accompanied by running mate and acting Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, Reynolds also attended the Black Hawk County Republican convention Saturday at the National Cattle Congress Pavilion in Waterloo.