This November, incumbent Gov. Kim Reynolds will defend her elected position against Democrat Deidre DeJear in the 2022 general election.
If Reynolds were to win, she would start her second full term as governor. DeJear, on the other hand, has never held elected office in Iowa.
A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll conducted between Oct. 31 and Nov. 3 shows a 17-percentage point gap between the two heading into election day.
Here's how the candidates have fared in each poll:
July: 48% Reynolds, 31% DeJear
October: 52% Reynolds, 35% DeJear
November: 54% Reynolds, 37% DeJear
Here's what you need to know about the candidates before you head out to vote.
Kim Reynolds (R)
Lieutenant Governor Candidate: Adam Gregg
Reynolds became Iowa's first female governor in 2017 after then-governor Terry Branstad became Donald Trump's U.S. Ambassador to China.
The 63-year-old served four terms as Clarke County Treasurer before her election to the Iowa Senate in 2008. In 2010, she was elected lieutenant governor alongside former Gov. Terry Branstad.
After taking the gubernatorial reigns from Branstad, Reynolds won her first full term in 2018.
Reynolds was unopposed in the June 2022 primary, securing her the Republican spot ahead of the November election.
Throughout her time as governor, Reynolds has emphasized conservative family values alongside focusing on cutting taxes, raising employment numbers and educational choice.
"It's critical that we have a strong public school system. It's the foundation of our society in our state, and we want to make sure that we're adequately funding our public school systems," Reynolds said in the Oct. 17 televised gubernatorial debate. "But, also, it's equally important that a parent has a choice and what they believe is the best environment for their child to thrive and be the best that they can be."
Reynolds has brought many conservative ideals to fruition during her term, including large tax cuts, banning transgender girls from both high school and college sports, appointing new Republican Iowa Supreme Court justices and restricting abortion access.
"I'm pro-life ... I believe that we should do everything we can to protect the life of the unborn. In 2018, as you indicated, I signed the heartbeat bill with exceptions. It got enjoined with the ruling on Roe v. Wade, we've asked the courts to revisit that. And so that's where we're going to put our efforts into making that bill actually become law," Reynolds said.
She is currently the vice chair of the Republican Governors Association and Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and the chair of the Education Commission of the States. Formerly, she held positions in the Governors Biofuels Coalition, Midwest Governors Association and the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board Member during the Trump Administration.
Deidre DeJear (D)
Lieutenant Governor Candidate: Eric Van Lacker
DeJear, a 36-year-old businesswoman and Iowa transplant, is hoping to be Iowa's first Democrat-elected governor in 16 years.
The Drake University alumna had a long career before entering the political world. In 2005, DeJear co-founded a nonprofit, Back 2 School Iowa, and started a business consulting firm, Caleo Enterprises, in 2008.
She was a campaign organizer for former President Barack Obama. In 2018, she ran for Iowa Secretary of State against Paul Pate, making her the first Black candidate to win a major party nomination for an Iowa statewide office. She lost to Pate in the 2018 general election.
Like Reynolds, DeJear ran unopposed in the June primary.
DeJear's campaign focuses on investing in public education, increasing funding for family planning services, regulating legal cannabis use for those 21 or older and increasing the minimum age to purchase assault rifles.
"We can boast about our surplus ... [but] we see the degradation to our education system happening right before our eyes. [We] are asking our systems to do more with a lot less. We're seeing that in corrections, we're seeing that in health care and mental health care services. That surplus is evidence that the Iowa taxpayer dollar is not going to work, it's just being hoarded," DeJear said in the October debate.
DeJear is also a fierce abortion rights activist, adding: "My personal belief has no space in a woman's doctor's appointment. When she goes into that doctor to make a decision that's in her best interest, that is her decision. And my personal belief should not be in that room, and no other politicians' opinion should be in that room."