Deidre DeJear met with business owners at a salon near Drake University, his alma mater, after announcing the launch of an exploratory committee to consider running for governor of Iowa in 2022. DeJear n did not disclose the names of the committee members.
They sat in the armchairs of the Paparazzi Hair Studio and Spa salon. Owner Tina Turner is a longtime friend of DeJear’s and also joined the conversation.
Business owners shared their experiences with the state government and offered suggestions for improving it. DeJear moderated with a few questions and took notes of the conversation.
Mike Draper, Founder and Owner of RAYGUN, spoke to DeJear about the importance of child care for small business owners, especially those who are parents.
âSo as a small business owner you care about schools and daycares? DeJear asked with a smile.
A chorus of “yeah” and “sure” followed his question.
She spoke over the laughter: âTell me why, tell me why!
âIt’s like the foundation of the whole community,â Draper replied.
DeJear said she didn’t know when she would decide to run, but that would depend on there being a “strong path to victory”. The listening tour fundraising could lead to the first funds for his campaign.
âWhat I did was put together a group of people who I knew were going to take a critical look at this thing, because, I often say, I’m not here to take up space. want it to be useful, but I also want it to be pragmatic, âDeJear explained.
Gov. Kim Reynolds has not officially announced whether she will run, but is largely expected to run for a second elected term.
While incumbents generally have an advantage when they run for re-election, DeJear said she hopes there may be a change in the trend in 2022.
“I want a leadership that believes in the ability of Iowa that can distance us from all the policies that divide us, but that brings together the policies, the concerns and the issues, where we can believe in ourselves again,” she declared.
Later, DeJear heads east to Iowa. She has events in Clinton, Davenport, Muscatine, Burlington, Fort Madison and Ottumwa.
âI was inspired and reinvigorated. I knew that by stepping into this situation, you know, communities know how to solve the challenges that are out there. They know what works, they know what doesn’t,â said the 35-year-old player.
State Representative Ras Smith was the first Democrat to launch his campaign. State Auditor Rob Sand, a Democrat, also said he was considering running for governor. DeJear didn’t want to compare herself directly to other candidates, but she said she supported competitive primaries.
Previously, she ran for Secretary of State in 2018. She won the Democratic primary, but ultimately lost to incumbent Republican Paul Pate.
She said her 2018 campaign raised around half a million dollars by then, but a gubernatorial bid would offer different resources.
âBut what I do know is what I’m coming up with, you know? I had a lot of support many years ago and I could still stay connected to the Iowan statewide. I know I did. “Have a passion for this job, and I know what it takes to do it. But most importantly, I’m willing to do the hard work,” DeJear said.
Iowa has never had a black woman as governor, which DeJear tweeted. She said she wanted to bring her own personal experiences to the table in her consideration to introduce herself.