(CNN) – Iowa Republican gubernatorial nominee Terry Branstad learned Friday that he won't face an independent challenge from his former GOP primary opponent Bob Vander Plaats.
But the leftover hard feelings from the contentious primary - Branstand won the nomination on June 8 by nine points - were barely concealed as Vander Plaats took to the steps of the Iowa Judicial Building in Des Moines and broke a lengthy silence about his political future.
Vander Plaats, whose bid was fueled by social conservatives, said he would not seek the governorship as an independent and announced an effort aimed at unseating Iowa Supreme Court justices who legalized same-sex marriage in the state.
But Vander Plaats refused to play loyal GOP solider and declined to endorse Branstad in his effort to unseat Gov. Chet Culver, a Democrat.
"I'm here today to say that I will not be seeking an independent run for governor because I am focused on the future of our state and maintaining our freedoms," Vander Plaats said.
Branstad's team issued a terse statement on the decision.
"This is an issue on which Bob has often spoke with great passion and I understand his desire to pursue this path," Branstad said in a statement. "I respect his decision."
Vander Plaats is just mad at Brainsdead because he did not pick him as his running mate. The Tea Party LOST again!!!!
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He speaks of maintaining our freedoms... but wishes to deny gays the freedom to marry. Why do social conservatives use the word freedom when they really want government restrictions on gay marriage and abortion?
leftover hard feelings like I feel for the entire GOP
I didn't win, so I am going to sit in the corner and hold my breath until I turn blue or until the Mothership comes to take me home!
They both need the kiss of death endorsement from the idiot ex governor of Alaska.
Those flags clearly have fold creases in them. Vander Plaats disrespects the flag. He hates America like all repubicans.
The founders of the Tea Party have been over-whelmed by right-wing extremeists and kicked to the curb. The result is that the Tea Party has devolved into an Anti-America entity and a blight on the political landscape.
And those 'mainstream' Republicans who tolerate these wing-nuts will be the ones hurt most these extremists.
Proof Positive that the chickens are coming home to roost.
Typical of these right wing idiots. Instead of attempting to do something positive for this nation, he vents his spleen on gay marraige. C'mon.... Is this really the most important issue facing Iowa and the nation? It's nothing but hate-filled pandering. Vander Plaats should be ashamed of himself.
Here we go again! Gay bashing is alive and well. We have a policition who wants to discriminate against Gays. What other group will he discriminate against? Peaceful Muslims? Obese people? People who don't look like him? This kind of politician is ruining freedom and is afraid of anything or anyone he/she doesn't understand.
The country is beginning to reject the Tea Paranoids.
Vander Putz is from the same district as perennial Neanderthal, Rep. Steven King (R). Both not worthy to kiss a dog on the .......lips.
And Branstad accepted an endorsement from the Wasilla Wombat (with apologies to Wombats everywhere) so he's out.
Guess I'll have to vote for Culver.
The tea party is pleased that Terry Bradstad is the Republican candidate for Iowa. They sure didn't want Vander Plaats
Sounds like Vander puss is just a sore loser.
Whose freedom is he talking about? You can only have freedom if you believe the same things he does? Can someone actually get that far to the right?