Bob Vander Plaats

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Bob Vander Plaats
Personal details
Born (1963-04-12) April 12, 1963 (age 51)
Sheldon, Iowa, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater Northwestern College, Iowa
Drake University

Robert L. "Bob" Vander Plaats (born April 12, 1963) is an American politician and political activist. He is currently the president and CEO of The Family Leader, a social conservative organization.

Education and early career[edit]

Vander Plaats attended Northwestern College (Iowa) with a basketball scholarship, graduating and becoming a teacher and coach in Boone and Jefferson. He was Principal at Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn High School and at the high school in Sheldon. Later he earned Master's and Specialist's Degrees in the area of Educational Leadership from Drake University.[1]

Political campaigns[edit]

2002[edit]

In 2002, Vander Plaats unsuccessfully ran for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, losing to Doug Gross.[2]

2006[edit]

Vander Plaats was a candidate for the 2006 Iowa Republican gubernatorial nomination, competing against Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle. As the race progressed, he withdrew his candidacy for Governor in favor of being Nussle's running mate in the general election. Calls by GOP party higher-ups for Vander Plaats to get out of the race were reportedly due to Vander Plaats reporting only $459,000 cash on hand compared to Nussle's $2,500,000.[3][4] The Republican ticket of Nussle/Vander Plaats lost the election to the Democratic ticket of Culver/Judge.

2010[edit]

On January 26, 2009, Vander Plaats announced the formation of a 2010 gubernatorial campaign committee[5] with state Representative Jodi Tymeson as chair and former state Auditor Dick Johnson as co-chair of the committee.[6] He formally announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination on Labor Day of 2009.

In the Iowa gubernatorial election of 2010, incumbent Governor Chet Culver, a Democratic politician, ran for re-election. The Republican candidates were Vander Plaats, state politician Rod Roberts, and former governor Terry Branstad.[7]

By the end of March 2010, however, Vander Plaats lead in the same poll had fallen from 42% to 40%.[8]

Issues[edit]

Vander Plaats ran on his conservative credentials in the primary. One of his main focuses – promoting business expansion in Iowa[9] – included reducing "property taxes to fuel business expansion and job opportunities,"[10] making Iowa a “leading alternative energy producer and innovator,”[11] applying a “loser-pay system” of tort reform,[12] and marketing Iowa “as a Right to Work state."[10] He supported having representatives from “public school, home school and private school on the Iowa Board of Education.”[13] He also pledged to sign an executive order designed to stop county clerks from handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples.[14] This last issue drew some controversy, as both of his primary opponents maintained that the governor did not have that authority,[15] as did most legal scholars.[16]

Results[edit]

In the Republican primary on June 8, 2010, Vander Plaats lost to Branstad, receiving 40 percent of the vote compared to 50 percent for Branstad. Roberts was third with 9 percent of the vote.[17]

Political activism[edit]

2008 presidential election[edit]

Vander Plaats served as the Iowa state chair of Republican Presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's 2008 failed presidential campaign.[18] On many occasions, Huckabee called Vander Plaats the "next Governor of Iowa,"[19] suggesting that Vander Plaats would run for Governor again in 2010.

2010 Iowa Supreme Court retention campaign[edit]

In 2010, Vander Plaats successfully led the campaign against the retention of three members of the Iowa Supreme Court who had voted to overturn Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act in Varnum v. Brien.[20]

2012 presidential election[edit]

In November 2010, Vander Platts became president and chief executive officer of an umbrella group called The Family Leader, a group that includes the Iowa Family Policy Center, Marriage Matters, and a political action committee. Through the new group, the socially conservative organizations planned to play a more influential role in the 2012 Iowa caucus campaigns than in 2007 and 2008, including offering an endorsement for the first time.[21]

In December 2011, Vander Plaats endorsed Rick Santorum for President.[22] ABC News reported that Vander Plaats had solicited up to a million dollars from Santorum and other candidates in exchange for his endorsement, that he and Santorum had discussed the subject of money when negotiating the endorsement, and that he had tried to get Michele Bachmann to drop out of the race. The Family Leader denied the report.[23]

Books[edit]

In February 2007 Vander Plaats released his first book, Light from Lucas. This story of his third son was published by Tyndale House Publishers.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Meet Bob Vander Plaats:Biography". vpforgov.rocksolidclients.net. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  2. ^ "Vander Plaats joins Nussle, sets GOP ticket for race", Des Moines Register, February 21, 2006
  3. ^ "GOP sources: Vander Plaats to drop out, endorse Nussle" Des Moines Register, February 20, 2006
  4. ^ "Nussle plans launch of election-year's first TV ad", Des Moines Register, April 22, 2006
  5. ^ Vander Plaats making run for governor in 2010, Des Moines Register, January 27, 2009.
  6. ^ Vander Plaats 2010 campaign site
  7. ^ "Three GOP Candidates for Governor Speak", Radio Iowa, March 9, 2010
  8. ^ Rasmussen Reports: Election 2010: Iowa Governor
  9. ^ Globe Gazette
  10. ^ a b Vander Plaats for Governor: Economic Growth and Development
  11. ^ Vander Plaats for Governor: Energy
  12. ^ Vander Plaats for Governor: Health Care and Tort Reform
  13. ^ Vander Plaats for Governor: Education
  14. ^ Vander Plaats for Governor: Unlike Other Candidates, I’ll Stand Up for Separation of Constitutional Powers
  15. ^ IowaPolitics.com: Vander Plaats launches attacks against Branstad in first debate
  16. ^ Vander Plaats: It's clear Iowa needs new leadership
  17. ^ "Republicans Nominate Branstad for Iowa Governor". KCRG.com. June 8, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2010. 
  18. ^ Vander Plaats 2010 campaign biography
  19. ^ http://ktracy.com/?p=743
  20. ^ "Vander Plaats Says Iowa Court System Must Change". AP/KCRG. March 24, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  21. ^ Tom Beaumont (November 15, 2010). "Vander Plaats to lead Iowa group with 2012 endorsement plans". Des Moines Register. 
  22. ^ "Vander Plaats Endorses Santorum". New York Times. December 20, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2012. 
  23. ^ Walshe, Shushannah; Falcone, Michael (December 23, 2011). "Iowa Conservative Leader Mired in Controversy After Rick Santorum Endorsement". ABC. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Debi Durham
Republican Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
2006
Succeeded by
Kim Reynolds