Home About Chat Users Issues Party Candidates Polling Firms Media News Polls Calendar Key Races United States President Senate House Governors International

New User Account
"A historical political resource." 
Email: Password:

  Vander Plaats, Bob
NameBob Vander Plaats
Grimes, Iowa , United States
Born April 12, 1963 (54 years)
Last ModifedRBH
May 06, 2016 08:23pm
Tags Dutch - Very Conservative - Anti-Gay Marriage -
InfoBob, one of eight children, grew up in a two-story home on a tree-lined street in Sheldon, Iowa. His dad, a World War II Veteran who owned his own business, worked hard to care for his family. Bob learned the values of hard work and honesty from his Mom and Dad.

Bob was an outgoing basketball player in high school, playing in the state basketball tournament his senior year. Those who knew him say that, even then, he liked and cared about people.

In his senior year of high school, Bob began dating his future life-partner, Darla Granstra. They had completed thirteen years of school together; nursery, elementary, junior high, and three years of high school. It was during their senior year that they began discovering their future. It was Darla who awoke the awareness in Bob that the future was full of exciting challenges and great opportunities. In Bob's words, "Darla was responsible for raising my expectations for life."
Bob & Darla

Both stayed close to home after high school graduation, attending Northwestern College in Orange City where Bob received a basketball scholarship and Darla received a music scholarship. In the summer prior to their junior year, they were married.

Bob pursued a career as an educator, saying "I fell in love with teaching because I saw the difference I could make in the lives of kids."

His first teaching job was in Boone, teaching business courses at Boone High School, while Darla began working as a certified public accountant.

Two years later they moved to Jefferson, where Bob was recruited to teach business and become their head basketball coach. Bob loved teaching and coaching, and had also started a landscaping business. Their first two sons, Hans and Josh, were born in Jefferson and Darla chose to stay at home with them.

At twenty-nine years old, Bob received a startling offer to become the new principal of Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn High School. This new position gave him the opportunity to lead, and he flourished. The success he experienced resulted in a call from his home town of Sheldon, asking Bob to join their staff as the Sheldon High School principal.

Bob went on to earn Master's and Specialist's Degrees in the area of Educational Leadership from Drake University. His leadership ability was evident and his advancement rapid as he served both students and teachers.

In 1993, their third son, Lucas, was born with a serious and rare brain disorder. He would be severely handicapped and require constant care for the rest of his life. "If it hadn't been for the miracle of Lucas," Bob says, "we would have never looked beyond where we were." Four years later, their fourth son, Logan, was born and completed the creation of a very special family.

Another unexpected offer came in 1996, when Bob was sought after to become the President and Chief Executive Officer of Opportunities Unlimited, a health and human services organization, providing rehabilitative services for young adults with brain or spinal cord injuries, or other life-altering disabilities. They needed a strong leader to motivate employees, raise funds and provide a strategic vision with attainable goals. Bob accepted the challenge and, in four short years, turned a struggling entity into one of the top service providers of its type in the United States, with a net assets increase of four hundred and forty percent and the highest accreditation from The Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities - Brain Injury (CARF). With Bob's leadership, the organization's design and program delivery were referred to as the model in the country for serving people with disabilities.

In 1998, then Governor Terry Brandstad appointed Bob to the Governor’s Council focused on prevention, research, and clinical service of Brain Injury. Immediately, Bob’s professional peers serving on this council elected him Chair. He chaired this council for the duration of his three year appointment.

In 2002, recognizing Iowa’s need for leadership, Bob led a positive and energetic campaign for governor. Although he narrowly lost his first bid for public office, he was highly successful in building a statewide organization which remains motivated, extremely loyal, and continues to grow.

In 2006, the Republican Party of Iowa enthusiastically and overwhelmingly nominated Bob to be their candidate for Lieutenant Governor. Bob was a favored speaker as he traveled Iowa delivering his message of “cause above self” leadership.

In February of 2007, Bob’s book, “Light from Lucas”, was released by Focus on the Family and Tyndale House Publishing. “Light from Lucas” is an inspirational story of Bob and Darla’s third son, Lucas, who was born with severe disabilities. “Light from Lucas” is in its second printing and has earned a 2007 Staff Pick by Focus on the Family and a Barnes and Noble recommended read commendation.

It was Bob’s honor and privilege to serve as State Chairman for Governor Huckabee’s presidential campaign. Governor Huckabee won the Iowa Caucuses by nine percentage points after being outspent 15:1. Governor Huckabee refers to Bob as, “a winner who inspires teams to win.”

Bob is currently president and CEO of MVP Leadership, INC. MVP specializes in strategic vision and executive leadership for Business and Industry, Economic Development, Education, Health Care, Human Services, and Private Foundations.

His professional and personal accomplishments have been highly recognized. In addition to being the Lt. Governor nominee, in 2006 Bob received the “Inspiration Award” by the College Republicans. In March of 2002 he was noted as one of the forty most influential people under 40 years of age in the Siouxland (Iowa) Region by The Sioux City Journal. In the fall of 2000, Northwestern College of Orange City, Iowa bestowed Bob the honor of "Distinguished Alumni" for his professional achievement.

Bob Vander Plaats' entire career has been about maximizing the potential of the people and institutions around him. His life experiences, integrity, and track record of achievement make him a candidate that we can trust to lead us into the future with excellence.


DateFirmFavorableUnfavorableDon't Know
02/01/2013-02/03/2013 Public Policy Polling (D) 22.00% ( 0.0) 42.00% ( 0.0) 37.00% ( 0.0)

Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor
Mar 20, 2012 02:00pm General Senator Tells Vander Plaats 'Get A Real Job'   Article COSDem 
Jul 11, 2011 07:00pm Idiocy Slavery language removed from group’s marriage pledge for candidates  Article Bob 
Apr 10, 2011 08:00pm Idiocy Bob Vander Plaats: Homosexuality a ‘public health risk’ akin to ‘secondhand smoke’  Article COSDem 
Aug 06, 2010 12:00am General Vander Plaats To Hold News Conference  Article COSDem 

Importance? 0.00000 Average


Bob Vander Plaats for Iowa Governor 2010  Discuss
  06/26/2010 IA Lt. Governor - R Convention Lost 43.60% (-12.80%)
  06/08/2010 IA Governor - R Primary Lost 40.90% (-9.40%)
  11/07/2006 IA Lt. Governor Lost 44.38% (-9.65%)
  06/06/2006 IA Lt. Governor- R Running Mate Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  06/04/2002 IA Governor- R Primary Lost 31.64% (-4.25%)
  06/03/2014 IA US Senate - R Primary Lost 0.00% (-56.12%)
IA US President - R Caucus - Feb 01, 2016 R Ted Cruz
IA US President - R Caucus - Jan 03, 2012 R Rick Santorum
IA US President - R Caucus - Jan 03, 2008 R Mike Huckabee
IA Governor- R Primary - Jun 06, 2006 R Jim Nussle