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Northwestern College Republicans Recruitment Drive - Orange City

NorthwesternI always love being on the Northwestern College campus! The College Republicans served Root Beer Floats on this beautiful day and it was great visiting with students and professors; reminiscing about my time at Northwestern and my vision for the state of Iowa. It is so interesting to listen to the student perspective regarding the business climate in Iowa for their chosen fields. It was also a pleasure visiting with Dr. Murphy, President of Northwestern College. Special thanks to Mick Schneider for planning a wonderful event and for his involvement in the college Republicans! It is vital that we create an economy that allows the students of Northwestern College, and every Iowa college, to find opportunity and prosperity in Iowa!
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Pella Water Fight - Pella

Pella WaterfightAfter the long trip from Dickinson County, I quickly changed and off we went to play in the water. There is never a dull moment when you’re running for governor! I joined the Republican line-up as front-man with the fire hose. Our first attempt wasn’t pretty, but we pulled out a victory on our second try. This is such a fun community-building event and we had a great time watching doctors, nurses, local daycare providers, and many others join in the water fights. There were even some professors from Central College who came out in their caps and gowns! My warmest thanks to Irene Blum for organizing our team entry! Thanks also go to Denny Hanson, Norm Rosendale, and the many others for participating and sharing a good laugh!
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Sheldon Celebrations Day Parade - Sheldon

SheldonIt was great to be back in my hometown of Sheldon for our annual Celebrations Days! As I walked the same streets that I walked as a child, it was great to be with such a great group of supporters; Jason Moser, Randy Feenstra, Dave Van Wyk, my and Darla’s families, and many new faces. Seeing some old friends along the route was one of the best parts of the day! Many thanks to the over 50 volunteers who set aside their Labor Day plans in order to walk with us in the Parade. We love O’Brien County!
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Thompson Reception Part 1 - West Des Moines

ThompsonMarge and Bob Thompson hosted a wonderful reception in Dallas County and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting their friends and co-workers. Not only did I have the opportunity to visit one-on-one with many of those in attendance, we had a great question and answer session as a group. It always encourages me when I see the faces of Republicans light-up as they hear about tough issues: If the federal government is not going to do something about illegal immigration, then Iowa will do something about it…Federal dollars do not belong in Iowa classrooms…gambling is not true economic development. We had a great night, and I thank my friends Bob and Marge for their enthusiastic support.
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Thompson Reception Part 2 - West Des Moines

ThompsonMarge and Bob Thompson hosted a wonderful reception in Dallas County and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting their friends and co-workers. Not only did I have the opportunity to visit one-on-one with many of those in attendance, we had a great question and answer session as a group. It always encourages me when I see the faces of Republicans light-up as they hear about tough issues: If the federal government is not going to do something about illegal immigration, then Iowa will do something about it…Federal dollars do not belong in Iowa classrooms…gambling is not true economic development. We had a great night, and I thank my friends Bob and Marge for their enthusiastic support.
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Thompson Reception Part 3 - West Des Moines

ThompsonMarge and Bob Thompson hosted a wonderful reception in Dallas County and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting their friends and co-workers. Not only did I have the opportunity to visit one-on-one with many of those in attendance, we had a great question and answer session as a group. It always encourages me when I see the faces of Republicans light-up as they hear about tough issues: If the federal government is not going to do something about illegal immigration, then Iowa will do something about it…Federal dollars do not belong in Iowa classrooms…gambling is not true economic development. We had a great night, and I thank my friends Bob and Marge for their enthusiastic support.
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Iowa State Fair - Des Moines

Iowa State FairWhat a great way to spend a day! I had a lot of fun meeting people from across the state, and especially enjoyed seeing a former student of mine! We had the opportunity to visit with Dr. Troy Scheuermann from Van Buren County, Vander Plaats County chair in 2002 and 2006. It was wonderful to see so many people, like Norm and Corky Rosendale from Jasper County, volunteering at the Republican Booth and working on behalf of our campaign. I also enjoyed seeing the many FFA and 4H exhibits and talking with students about their fair projects. Iowa has some of the best, hardest-working students anywhere in the country! Of course, we ate everything-on-a-stick and drank ice cold, fresh-squeezed lemonade and stopped by the Wooden Shoe to visit with the people from Pella. Many thanks to all of our great volunteers that helped make the State Fair a success for the Vander Plaats for Governor Campaign!
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Woodbury County Fair - Moville

Woodbury FairWhat a beautiful morning at the Woodbury County Fair! It was great spending time with Mel Adema, Scott Corrie, Ken and Carolyn Uhl, Ken South and many more. I enjoyed visiting with many of the vendors at the Varied Industries Building, including Len Grasso, a small business owner from Sioux City. I also had the opportunity to thank Cal Tyer for his more than 6 years of service as the Woodbury County Fair Manager. Special thanks to Chief Deputy Greg Logan, of the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Department, for making the fair a safe and fun experience.
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Audubon County - Exira

Audubon It was nice to be at the Little Field Park in Exira for the Audubon County Fundraiser. Dave Erickson, Vander Plaats County Chair was there to host us and I enjoyed visiting with Audubon County Sheriff, Todd Johnson. Special thanks to the Pork Producers for a great meal!
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Marshall County - Marshalltown

MarshalltownThis was a great fundraiser for Marshall County and very well-attended. Along with our County Chair, Diane Reinhardt, the Vander Plaats team had many supporters in attendance. As we gathered on the lawn this beautiful night, east of Marshalltown, it was a pleasure to share my vision for the state of Iowa. I also enjoyed visiting with Pete Rogers, Barb Livingston, and Rich Oatley. Thank you to the Marshall County Republicans for inviting us to participate in a great event!
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Cerro Gordo County - Clear Lake

Clear Lake After a great event at David Fischer’s home, we headed to the Furleigh Farm for some good conversation and front porch speaking. I enjoyed talking with Bob Furleigh and Rep. Rayhon, along with many of our supporters. It is always encouraging to see the dedication of our team, and I appreciated having our county chairs from Floyd County, Julie and Jeff Marty, join us from Charles City. Food was provided by Hy-Vee Catering and it was a beautiful day to be outside in Iowa!
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Linn County Republican Women - Cedar Rapids

Cedar RapidsThank you to Denise Fouts and the Linn County Republican Women for hosting a wonderful luncheon at Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids. It was great to have the support of our county chair, Nancy Bruner, along with many others, and I appreciated hearing how the Linn County Republican Women are getting books into the hands of kids; an important project that will encourage students to read! It was also fun to see Billboard Bob Klaus in attendance. Sharing my vision for Iowa and listening to the concerns of those in attendance was enjoyable and educational.
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Lee County Republican Hog Roast - West Point

West Point Thank you to the Ritter family for hosting the Lee County Republican Hog Roast on their farm near West Point. We had a wonderful time meeting with supporters, enjoying excellent food, and speaking about the issues important to the future of Iowa. It was great to spend time in Lee County. Special thanks to Bob Walker’s family, Collete Lindeman, Joyce Schevers, Larry Kruse, Vince Kruse’s family, and Pauline Ritter, our Lee County Chair for all of your help!
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Des Moines County Fair

Des Moines FairThank you to citizens of Des Moines County for giving us such a warm welcome to your County Fair. It was a pleasure meeting new people, visiting with many supporters, and having fun with local 4H students. I also appreciated the opportunity to say a few words to the crowd at the 4H calf show. Thanks to our VP County Chair, Linda Long, and all of the workers at the Republican Booth. It was a great day at the Fair…thank you for a wonderful afternoon!
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Great River Days Parade - Muscatine

Muscatine It was great to see such an energetic group of high school students handing out our All-Star Record Vander Plaats trading cards on this beautiful day in Muscatine. Thank you to Melody, Keeley and Christina for doing such a great job on the parade route! We had a welcoming response from many people along the route. Also, thank you to the Rosenthal and Kuhn families for making a trip down to walk with us. Special thanks to Lois Irwin our Muscatine County Co-Chair for organizing our parade entry and to her husband Ken for driving our parade car. The Muscatine County Republicans did a nice job of displaying our Vander Plaats signs on their County Republican Float…thank you! We look forward to being back in the scenic city of Muscatine again soon.
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Fayette County Meet-n-Greet - Oelwein

OelweinWe enjoyed good food and good conversation with a roomful of Fayette County supporters at the Pizza Ranch in Oelwein. Kitty Rehberg, Chair of our Education Committee was there along with our Fayette County Chairs, Cheryl and Dave Hanson. We talked at length about one of Iowa’s most valued resources…our kids! We must educate them with excellence, and then provide the opportunity for them to find good-paying jobs so that they will stay in Iowa to work and raise a family. It did my heart good to see many young people in the room. Please remember to pray for Dave Hanson and his family, as he has been deployed to Iraq with the Army Reserves. So many of Iowa’s men and women are serving overseas…we must remember to pray for them, and their families, daily; they are sacrificing so much to serve our country.
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Clayton County Meet-n-Greet - Elkader

ElkaderAfter a great time at the Allamakee County Fair, we headed to a meet-and-greet in Elkader. There was a great crowd waiting for us at the Elkader Library where we enjoyed some productive dialog about the state of Iowa. One of the topics discussed was Governor Vilsack’s blanket restoration of felon’s voting rights. I explained my support of the process that was previously in place, ensuring that felons were only permitted to vote once ALL debts were paid in full. We also discussed education, the use of the Values Fund, and gambling. Gambling is not a long-term solution to growing our economy and the expansion of gambling will not be part of my economic development plan. We have great support in Clayton County as well as throughout eastern Iowa. Special thanks to Gale Severson, our Clayton County Chair, for organizing a very nice event!
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Hancock County Picnic - Britt

BrittMarvin Johnson, our Hancock County Chair, invited us to the annual Hancock County Summer Picnic. It is always a pleasure to spend time with Marv and his wife, Diane. I appreciate their sincerity and deep commitment to win back the governorship in 2006. The picnic was very well attended and I especially enjoyed seeing so many young people at the event. Our campaign trading cards have been a big hit this summer, and this was no exception. Not only were people excited about the cards, I was kept busy signing them as I visited with those in attendance. The majority of discussions revolved around the need for fresh leadership for Iowa and about the need to move away from the political status quo. Citizens of Hancock County made it very clear that they want leaders who will listen to their concerns and then follow-through in addressing those concerns.
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Mills County Meeting - Silver City

Silver CityI love visiting with a small group of people in a living room setting. These meetings allow me to visit casually with Iowans regarding issues of importance and enjoy a few laughs along the way. This particular meeting was at the home of Sam and Linda Thomas, our Mills County Chairs. I had the opportunity to listen to a variety of individuals; including 2 high school students, County Attorney Marci Prier, Pottawattamie County Supervisor Delbert King, several key activists, and the Thomas’ son-in-law, Chris Jentzsch, who recently returned from serving in Iraq with the Army Reserves.
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Rivercade Parade in Sioux City

Sioux CityIt’s always great to come home! Darla and I, along with our boys, loved being at Sioux City’s Rivercade Parade. Arriving at the Tyson Events Center, we were greeted by more than 80 supporters and friends wearing Vander Plaats for Governor t-shirts…what a sight! We enjoyed visiting with several folks in the parade line-up; including a farmer from northwest Iowa who shared his interest in promoting alternative energy sources, long-time Sioux City Police Officer, Ken Welch, and our Morningside College Chair, Ben Goins. The U.S. Army’s Golden Knights kicked-off the night by skydiving into the center of Sioux City carrying the American, Iowa, and POW flags. Despite the near 100 degree temperature, our volunteers chanted “Go, Bob, go!” and “Vote for Bob!” the entire route. Their enthusiasm and dedication is both humbling and inspiring. Afterward, everyone walked to our Campaign Headquarters for Ice Cream and ice cold water! Special thanks to our Woodbury County Chairs, Mel and Norma Adema, college intern Scott Corrie, and my Finance Chair, Mike Wells, who jazzed-up his bright red hummer with a very cool Vander Plaats for Governor Sign!
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Bull Moose Club - Des Moines

Des MoinesIt always inspires me to be in a room full of young adults who are actively engaged in the Republican Party. The Bull Moose Club meets once a month in Des Moines and I was privileged to address their group on this particular Wednesday. While it’s great to meet with young people who have chosen to be educated and employed in Iowa, it is so important that this become the rule, rather than the exception. I enjoyed visiting with David Oman and meeting Isaiah McGee, who is running for a seat on Waukee’s City Council. Thank you to the Members of Des Moines’ Bull Moose Club for giving me such a warm welcome and for visiting with me about your ideas regarding the future of Iowa.
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Summerfest Parade - Ankeny

AnkneyThe great thing about parades is having the opportunity to interact with so many Iowans and to having fun with supporters who volunteer to walk the route with us. At the Summerfest Parade in Ankeny, I visited with home school families, Ankeny little league players, and many long-time friends. Special thanks to those who walked with us: my niece, Melissa, and her daughter, Rylie, Emory Arentson and family, Kathy Morgan, Jason Heki and friends, Barb Heki and family, Meredith Wilson, Hannah Arentson and friends, and Ken Neeld.
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RAGBRAI - Sheldon

SheldonWelcome to Iowa! It is quite a site to watch the sea of bikes traveling Iowa¹s highways and Darla and I enjoyed greeting bikers as they entered Sheldon, where we were both born and raised. It felt like 110 degrees in the shade as we shook hands and visited with folks about their hometowns, listened to what they like about Iowa, and wished them well for the remainder of the RAGBRAI journey. Thank you to the many Vander Plaats¹ Volunteers who handed out over 8,100 Bomb Pops to tired riders and members of the community. Special thanks, also, to Bill Waund and our County Chairs who organized water-stops along the RAGBRAI route: Jayson Vande Hoef, Jason Moser, Randy Feenstra, Harley and Ann Kohlhaas, Jerry Tweeten, Marvin Johnson, Andy Hill, Sam Kramer, Andy and Karen Van Der Maaten, Cheryl Hanson, and Gale Severson. Thank you!!!
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Dubuque County Republican Party Fundraiser

DubuqueRose Kramer, who is a dear friend and member of the State Central Committee, invited us over for the Dubuque County Republican Picnic. The view of the Mississippi River from the Eagle Point Park is fantastic! Not only did we enjoy a great lunch catered by Poor Man’s Café, we thoroughly enjoyed visiting with fellow Iowans. I had the opportunity to listen to college students, veterans, and many of the more than 50 in attendance. I never get tired of hearing different perspectives of the issues facing Iowa. No matter how many points of view I hear, there is always a common thread…a belief that Iowa is truly a great state, with great people, and great potential! Thank you Dubuque County Republicans for allowing me to participate in your event.
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Bremer County Cookout

BremerIt’s been great to participate in so many county picnics this summer; connecting with primary voters and thanking them for their active participation in the process. Of course, the food is always good too! On this day, I attended the annual Bremer County Summer Cookout at Cedar Bend Park in Waverly. It was a special privilege to visit with Senator Grassley and his grandson, Patrick, along with my good friend, Bob Brunkhorst. The dozens of folks at the picnic offered us a warm welcome and I appreciated the many words of encouragement that I received. Special thanks to Kevin Slinger, chair of the Bremer County Central Committee, for inviting me to attend the picnic.
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Omelet Feed - Winterset

WintersetEggs for supper! That’s what the Madison County Republicans served-up at the Omelet Feed in Winterset. Not only did I enjoy eating an omelet, they let me serve a few as well. It’s great to see communities giving people, young and old alike, the opportunity to enjoy a summer evening together. In fact, every Thursday night of the summer people will gather on the Courthouse Square in Winterset for Lawn Chair Night. The night we attended, the Madison Community Band provided the music. The “icing on the…..eggs” was sharing the evening with my son, Hans, who enjoys hitting the campaign trail with me now and then.
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Story County Spring Fling

Story CountyIt was a stormy night at the Brookside Park in Ames, but it didn’t stop the Story Republicans from putting on a great event. Dan Gonnerman went above and beyond the call of duty by grilling hot dogs and hamburgers in the rain! I had some great one-on-one visits regarding education and economic issues, and had the opportunity to talk to the entire group about the importance of winning back the governorship in 2006. U.S. Rep. Tom Latham, State Senator Stewart Iverson and Rep. Jim Kurtenbach of Nevada were also in attendance.
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Clear Lake Parade

Clear LakeWhat a fun parade! Steve Sukup was there to greet Darla and me when we arrived. Steve’s passion to win and his love for Iowa continue to inspire me and I am so glad that he is part of our team. We received a very warm reception as we walked (and sometimes ran!) the streets of Clear Lake. Two of our sons joined us on the route. Josh, 14, carried the banner and Logan, 8, did a great job of handing out information…encouraging people to “vote for my dad.” Thanks to De Byerly, Kenneth and Lorie Young, Matt Rochester, Steve Ford, and the Dusenbery family for making the parade a success. Many thanks, also, to the hundreds of the people who participated in parades over the Fourth of July weekend. Because of your hard work, the Vander Plaats campaign was well-represented all over Iowa…you’re awesome!
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Freedom Festival Parade - Cedar Rapids

Cedar RapidsThousands of people lined the streets of Cedar Rapids for the Freedom Festival Parade on Saturday morning. Todd & Sarah Henderson and Kim Reem did a fantastic job of organizing an army of volunteers to walk with us. Through many brief conversations, I was reminded of the importance of my run for governor over and over again…people expressed support of our campaign and thanked us for taking time to participate in their festival. Special thanks go to the folks that walked with us: Michelle Fields, Kathleen Banowetz, Kevin Helmick, Mike & Bev Hoppe, Ron & Lynn Kuhn, Rich Lentner, David Logan, Nick & Janelle Machacek, Brett Lyon, Randy Rickards, Mark Roberts, Jim & Janet Toom, and Darran & Ronda Whiting.
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Strawberry Days - Van Buren County

Van BurenIt was a great day in Van Buren County! We started the day with a reception hosted by Dr. Troy Scheurman of Keosauqua. I had the opportunity to visit with dozens of people from Van Buren County, including a local high school teacher who shared concerns about federal involvement in Iowa classrooms. After the reception we headed to the annual Farmington Strawberry Festival where Troy and I served ice cream with fresh strawberries. They tell me that nearly 15,000 people attend the festival each year. We finished the day at Graceland College in Lamoni, where I had the opportunity to participate in a Youth Forum attended by 200 high school students from across the state. Each student competed for the opportunity to attend the seminar and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with them.
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First Statewide Straw Poll - Williams

WilliamsAs Darla and I drove into the town of Williams, for the first straw poll of the year, we were greeted with “Vander Plaats for Governor” signs everywhere. Arriving at the Williams Gym, we had the chance to visit with more than a hundred people from throughout Iowa about the issues facing our state. It was a special privilege to share the day with Steve Sukup as a teammate, rather than an opponent. When the ballots were counted at the end of the day, there were 9 votes for Nussle and 87 for Vander Plaats…a good victory by anyone’s standards! Many thanks to Dave & Becky Kepler and Roger Hughes for their part in planning a first-class straw poll…it was a great day!
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