Al Henderson’s Memory Links Governor and Widow | News, Sports, Jobs
The event for state senator Tim Kraayenbrink on Tuesday night had all the trappings of a political rally — candidates visiting crowds, food and live musicians.
Then came the unexpected dose of raw emotion.
Kraayenbrink, R-Fort Dodge, had asked Christine Henderson of Fort Dodge to introduce Governor Kim Reynolds. Kraayenbrink and Henderson attend the same church, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
Henderson’s husband, Reverend Al Henderson, was the senior pastor there until he was murdered on church grounds on October 2, 2019.
Christine Henderson recalled how after her husband’s death, Kraayenbrink came to her house and placed her phone on a stool in the living room so Reynolds could talk to her and her family.
She also recalled how Reynolds signed a proclamation declaring a Pay It Forward day in memory of Al Henderson.
After the introduction, Reynolds and Christine Henderson kissed. When Reynolds next took the microphone, her eyes were red and she spoke hesitantly at first. She has pledged to sign a Pay It Forward proclamation each year she is governor.
Reynolds then praised Kraayenbrink, telling the senator “we love you to pieces,” and soon turned to promoting Republican principles.
“We’re showing the country and Iowa what conservative leadership is all about and getting things done,” she says.
“In Iowa, America Still Works” she added.
She reminded the audience of some 200 people on the lawn of the National Avenue house in Kraayenbrink that she had signed a tax cut bill that will lower the rate of personal income tax at 3.9% and will eliminate any tax on retirement income.
She added that under Republican leadership, Iowa has reduced the time people can collect unemployment.
Reynolds also said the state “protecting girls from sport for girls” with a law that bans transgender athletes.
She said her main goal for 2023 is to implement school choice.
“It is essential, essential, that we have a strong and solid public school system,” she said. “But it is also important that we give parents choice in their child’s education.
The governor was not the only Republican official present.
Secretary of State Paul Pate said voter turnout and election integrity are not mutually exclusive.
“We have it here”, he said.
State Sen. Roby Smith, R-Davenport, the party’s nominee for state treasurer, touted his 12 years in the Senate and his work for the US Bank as his qualifications.
Guthrie County Attorney Brenna Bird said if elected state attorney general, she would support law enforcement and sue President Joe Biden’s administration when she believes she exceeds his authority. She described the Biden administration as “Targeting a rich environment for prosecutions.”
Kraayenbrink is unopposed for re-election this year. Following the legislative division, he will have to run again in 2024.