Binkley makes case for long-shot ’24 bid
SIBLEY—When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis campaigned in August in Rock Rapids, attendees were overflowing into the hallway.
When former President Donald Trump speaks Sunday, Oct. 29, in Sioux City, there will be better than 2,000 on hand.
When Ryan Binkley, who also is running for the Republican presidential nomination, stopped Wednesday, Oct. 25, in Sibley, he and his staff outnumbered everyone else.
“We’ve been staying the course, and our message is really different,” Binkley said. “We’ve been sticking with the message. I’m not a billionaire, and I’m not a lifelong politician, so the name recognition wasn’t there to get on that debate stage.”
A pastor and business owner from the Dallas suburbs, Binkley has never held public office before. He launched his campaign in April and has struggled to gain traction.
That has not stopped him from running a full-throttle effort through Iowa. He has so far made it to 84 for the first-in-the-nation caucuses state’s 99 counties. The same day he was at The Lantern Coffeehouse & Roastery in Sibley, he visited Le Mars, Sioux Center, Rock Rapids and Sanborn.
“Our goal is to finish top four,” Binkley said about the caucuses.
“If we come out of Iowa mid-January, top four, and get ‘Who is this Ryan Binkley? We haven’t had a chance to see him yet,’ and hopefully, we’ll have a bigger breakout moment before then, but that will help us get more on the national stage. The field is coalescing a little bit, but we’re going to stay in.”
He pointed to one poll of Iowa caucusgoers released Oct. 12 showing him at 2 percent instead of the 0 percent he started with. It’s not much, but the underdog counted it as progress.
Hats distributed by Team Binkley have a one-word message — “Believe” — indicative of the platform’s goal of national unity as well as the mileslong odds the candidate faces.
Binkley’s policies are for the most part in line with mainstream Republicans, although he prefers to emphasize issues he said are ignored in the party. While many conservatives decry the national debt and federal spendings, he asserted that he’s serious about solutions.
“We’re going to be $50 trillion in debt in seven or eight years. We’re going to be spending 15 percent on interest payments. We won’t have a dime. We’re going to go bankrupt if we keep this going,” Binkley said.