Former Iowa Gov. Ray’s Legacy Contrasts With Modern GOP

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa residents remembering the legacy of former Gov. Robert D. Ray are reflecting on the difference between his administration and today’s politics.

Ray will be eulogized Friday during a funeral in Des Moines. The Republican governor is known for being a centrist who put policy before political expediency. He died Sunday at age 89.

Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, served in the Ray administration. He doubts someone with Ray’s positions could be elected today. He says the outpouring of respect and affection for Ray shows how popular his leadership style remains in Iowa.

Ray put Iowa on the international stage in the 1970s when he welcomed Vietnam War refugees from Southeast Asia. That action stands in contrast with Republicans’ current immigration views.