Vander Plaats to Make Gubernatorial Bid Official with Sept. 7 Announcement in Sheldon

SIOUX CITY – Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats, the 2006 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor who is leading the field for the party’s 2010 gubernatorial nomination, will officially launch his campaign on Monday, Sept. 7 in his hometown of Sheldon in northwest Iowa.

“Labor Day is the traditional start of the election season and Sheldon is the natural place for me to officially kick off the campaign. Sheldon is where I learned the value of freedom and leadership. It’s where my parents, teachers and neighbors instilled a traditional Iowa work ethic in me. And, it’s where I learned that the family is the foundation of society and it is government’s responsibility to foster a strong family instead of trying to replace it,” Vander Plaats said.

He continued, “The response we’ve seen since forming a campaign committee in January has been extraordinary. Support is growing every day around the state, pushing us far out in front of the five other candidates in the Republican field. Iowans of all political stripes recognize that Chet Culver is spending too much and demanding too little for taxpayers’ hard-earned money. They know he has to go and that we need a governor whose core principles will be less government, lower taxes and higher quality. They’re rallying behind this campaign because they know I’ll be that governor.”

Vander Plaats’ announcement will be at noon on Labor Day at the City Park in Sheldon. Vander Plaats will make a second appearance on Labor Day, visiting the Marlin Bontrager farm near Kalona. Bontrager and his wife, Becky, own and manage a livestock and grain farm. The couple and their 10 children have also formed the Bontrager Family Singers, a ministry that performs gospel/bluegrass music.

After growing up in Sheldon, Iowa, Vander Plaats pursued a career as an educator. After attending Northwestern College in Orange City on a basketball scholarship, Vander Plaats taught at Boone and Jefferson-Scranton High schools. Earning his master’s and specialist’s degrees in the area of educational leadership from Drake University, Vander Plaats also served as principal at Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn and Sheldon High schools.

In 1996, Bob became president and chief executive officer of Opportunities Unlimited, a Sioux City health and human services organization that provides rehabilitative services for young adults with brain or spinal cord injuries or other life-altering disabilities. In 2002, Bob led a positive and energetic campaign for governor. Though he narrowly lost in a three-way GOP primary, that campaign laid the foundation for a statewide organization that has continued to grow. Vander Plaats also served as Iowa chairman for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Vander Plaats is currently president of MVP Leadership, Inc., which specializes in strategic vision and executive leadership for business and industry, economic development, education, health care, human services, and private foundations.

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