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Ron Corbett, right, Republican candidate for governor, films a campaign commercial at Blue Strawberry in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday. The ad will be the first by a Republican candidate to air leading up to the June 2016 primary. 

Rebecca F. Miller, The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS — Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron Corbett was in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, filming a new television ad to be aired statewide beginning early next month.

What is expected to be a six-figure ad buy would be the first television ad on the Republican side during this gubernatorial election cycle.

Incumbent Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is seen as the clear favorite, has yet to use television nor has Steven Ray, a Boone City Council member.

“I spent a lot of time traveling the state, did the state fair, and we made great strides, but I need to get my name ID higher than what it is,” said Corbett, the former mayor of Cedar Rapids and speaker of the Iowa House in the 1990s. “In May, I want the question in people’s minds to be, ‘Who should I vote for?’ not ‘Who is Ron Corbett?’”

While Corbett has a radio advertisement and has used social media heavily, he said broadcast television is the best and quickest way to raise his name recognition, and the window to do so is closing. The primary is June 5.

At least three Democratic gubernatorial candidates have run television ads — Des Moines businessman Fred Hubbell, union leader/nurse Cathy Glasson of Coralville and state Sen. Nate Boulton of Des Moines. Seven Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination.

Corbett’s campaign manager Cory Crowley described the ad as a way to “introduce (Corbett) to the rest of the state” and to showcase his leadership.

Future ads might highlight specific policy positions, he said.

Luminary, of Des Moines and Nashville, Tennessee, is producing the ad. It is likely to be called “Knows Us,” Crowley said.

Shoots were at Corbett’s home in Cedar Rapids and local businesses Blue Strawberry and Midwest 3PL.

Cedar Rapidians and longtime Corbett friends and supporters Gary and Lynn Stansbery were taped discussing how Corbett helped them during flooding as well as his broader impact on the city.

“The city is thriving because of him,” Lynn Stansbery said.

Gary Stansbery recited his line a few times during takes for the commercial, “I know Ron Corbett, but, more importantly, he knows us.”


City Editor/Bettendorf News Editor

Liz Boardman is the Quad-City Times City Editor, manages the Economy section and Bettendorf News, and is the house Freedom of Information Act geek. A Rock Island native, she joined the Times in 2016.