Eric Branstad, the state director for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, is signaling he will likely manage Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign in Iowa. Branstad is the oldest son of Terry Branstad, the former Iowa governor who is now U.S. Ambassador to China.
Branstad said he’s been to Trump Tower recently to discuss the 2020 campaign. Branstad spoke at the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale Wednesday, sharing details of his work on Trump’s 2016 campaign. Trump finished ahead of Hillary Clinton here by nine-and-a-half percent.
Branstad first met Trump in person on April 8th of 2015 when Branstad was lobbying for the renewable fuels industry and asking all the presidential candidates to support ethanol. Branstad’s wife delivered a speech on behalf of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie when the couple attended their 2016 precinct caucus, while Eric Branstad spoke for Trump.
In May of 2016, Branstad was hired as Trump’s state director for the General Election. Branstad says at the end of September, 2016 he was secretly dispatched to Wisconsin so as not to signal the campaign thought it had Iowa won. Branstad says the best advice he got was from a former Wisconsin governor, who suggested Trump hold a rally in Minneapolis right before the Election, to boost turn-out in western Wisconsin.
According to Branstad, Trump beat Romney’s numbers in western Wisconsin by 12,000, and Trump wound up winning Wisconsin by 10-thousand votes. Branstad served a year in the Trump Administration as a top aide in the Commerce Department before resigning in early 2017 and returning to Iowa. Branstad says his life “has been a complete whirlwind” since he joined the Trump campaign in mid-2016.