Congressional Candidate Announces Run in Unusual Way

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DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Over the past few weeks, dozens of new faces have thrown their hat into the ring for political office.

Typically those announces start by sending out a press release inviting you to a news conference to “make it official.”  But that’s not how one Des Moines east sider decided to kick off her campaign.  

“Traditional campaign ads make me barf. I’m Heather Ryan…, “ says 3rd Congressional District candidate Heather Ryan in her youtube video announcing her challenge to Congressman David Young.

 “Being in Iowa we’ve seen all the most boring campaign commercials in the history of boring campaign commercials. So I didn’t want to be that boring person, I’m not that boring person,” says Ryan.

The video attacks all the normal concepts we are used to seeing in political ads. She got the capitol backdrop, an attack on the incumbent, a waving flag and even a campaign promise.

“I’m not pretend Iowa nice, I’m east Des Moines scrappy and I’m ready to fight,” says Ryan.

She says it cost her about $10 to produce and she’s confident it will pay off.

“I know it’s going to work. I know I’m going to win the primary and I know I am to take out David Young,” said Ryan.

Sandy Henry is a professor at Drake, teaching Advertising Campaign Strategy. While she would have advised Ryan a little differently, she says platforms like this can and have been successful.

“Absolutely, all you have to do is look at the campaign that just just finished last year to know that. Messaging that’s out on the edge has the capacity to have an impact,” said Henry.

Henry says the key to running a full year before the primary is to stand out from the crowd. This video could accomplish that for her but Henry warns Ryan to not plan her victory speech just yet.

“I think it’s something could really make her stand out but I think she just need to focus her message more. I came away from it without really getting any substance from her,” said Henry.

Ryan is already working on her second video but she knows it will need to be better.

“I’ve got to come up with something relatively clever but also a little more serious because there are so many issues about which we need to speak.”

This campaign isn’t a joke for Ryan. She has the credentials to be a real candidate. She spent time in the Navy, owns a small business and has been actively involved in politics on Des Moines’ east side since the 80’s.

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