Tonight’s the night

The Republican Party of Iowa’s State Central Committee will meet this evening to select the GOP candidate for Secretary of State.  Chuck Allison, the foot doctor who won the primary, dropped out for "personal reasons" and there’s been about a month of hand-wringing among Republicans about selecting a replacement. 

There’s a list of four candidates (in alphabetical order):  Steve Churchill, Mary Ann Hanusa, Mike Hartwig and Jeff Heil.  Churchill is a former state legislator from Johnston who now works as a fundraiser for Des Moines University (he was hired by former Governor Terry Branstad, who is the president of DMU).  Hanusa is a Council Bluffs native who works in the Bush White House now.  Her title is director of personal correspondence for the president.  Mike Hartwig ran for Secretary of State four years ago and has been helping Chuck Hurley run the Iowa Family Policy Center & Marriage Matters in Iowa.  Jeff Heil is the Marshall County Auditor, so he’s been running elections in the Marshalltown area.

I’m guessing these prospective candidates may have had to submit a written essay on the CIETC scandal.  Each of the candidates has their respective positives and negatives:  Churchill is seen as a moderate so that turns off the conservatives but he knows how to raise money and it’s never bad to have a last name like Churchill.  Hanusa doesn’t live here but having a woman on the ballot is an attraction to some Rs (plus you can’t spell Hanusa without the letters USA).  Hartwig has the conservative credentials but some contend he had his shot at the job already (I would also note Hartwig is the only one of the four to have had a supporter email me and argue on his behalf today).  Heil is not well known but he’s done the job of managing elections. 

A decision will probably come sometime after seven tonight.


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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.