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Reynolds defends private jet use, says she may do it again

Gov. Kim Reynolds

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is defending her use of a jet owned by a wealthy businessman who is lobbying the state to build a casino, and Reynolds said she might do it again.

Reynolds said Monday that asking businessman Gary Kirke for use of his private airplane was legal. The Republican governor said she’d seek such travel arrangements on a case-by-case basis.

Kirke helps oversee Wild Rose Entertainment, which is competing for a state license to build a casino in Cedar Rapids.

Reynolds says the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, which will decide this year whether to grant a license, is independent from her office. Reynolds will make at least two appointments next year to the five-member commission, which also regulates Kirke’s other casinos.

Reynolds also defended that people linked to the casino will host a private fundraiser for her this month.