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Branstad Begins Campaign with Big Advantages

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad began his re-election campaign in earnest last week, and even his Democratic opponent’s campaign acknowledged the odds favor the Republican will win a record sixth term.

With the state’s economy growing and nearly $5 million available for his campaign, Branstad’s supporters and opponents say it would take a major scandal or sudden downward shock to Iowa’s economy to derail the governor. Even key Democratic campaign donor Bill Knapp Sr. has contributed to Branstad, saying he expects the governor to win re-election.

While campaigning this week, Branstad noted the improving economy and his role in getting tax cuts and education reform through the Legislature.

John Hedgecoth, a spokesman for Democratic nominee Jack Hatch, says he knows people expect Branstad to win but that the race will be competitive.