Eric Branstad to lead Trump’s presidential campaign in Iowa

Source: By Jason Noble, Des Moines Register • Posted: Friday, June 17, 2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke

Eric Branstad, the son of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and an advocate for Iowa’s renewable fuels industry, will serve as the Iowa state director for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The news was confirmed to The Des Moines Register by a Trump spokeswoman Wednesday afternoon after the appointment was initially reported by the National Review.

Branstad said he met with top Trump campaign aides in New York last week.

“I want to work with the campaign and share with Iowans what I’ve gotten to know, and that is how great of a leader and person Mr. Trump is,” he said. “After that happens, we plan to win Iowa for Mr. Trump.”

Branstad, 40, has a long resume in Iowa politics, working as a field organizer and fundraiser for various candidate campaigns and as a lobbyist, including as a field director for George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.

He currently runs Matchpoint Strategies, a public affairs and fundraising firm in Des Moines, and was a prominent figure during the 2016 Iowa caucuses campaign as the state director for America’s Renewable Future, an advocacy group that pressed presidential candidates to support ethanol and biofuels.

His father has been Iowa’s governor since 2011 and prior to that served as governor from 1983 to 1999.

The elder Branstad on Wednesday said he didn’t provide much advice or consultation to his son as he pursued the job with the Trump campaign.

“I have people on my staff who knew he was under consideration for this before I did,” Terry Branstad said. “I had to call him and ask him about it. When I found out about it, I certainly visited with him about it, but I never really played a role in it.”

The governor is on the record supporting Trump’s candidacy, and on Wednesday described his endorsement as part of his overall effort to aid Republicans on the ballot this year.

Branstad himself last stood for reelection in 2014 and doesn’t leave office until 2019.