Former Mason City rep endorses Roberts

Bill Schickel, a former state representative from Mason City who is manning The Bean Walker website, announced this evening that he is resigning as secretary of the Republican Party of Iowa in order to formally endorse Rod Roberts, one of three Republicans seeking the GOP’s 2010 gubernatorial nomination.  This means eight former or current House members have endorsed Roberts in the past two weeks.  The time frame is significant as former House Speaker Chris Rants — a long-time leader of House Republicans — had been running for governor himself until February 18 when he dropped out of the race.  The eight current or former House members were likely unwilling or reluctant to publicly endorse Roberts with Rants in the race.

Read the news release about Schickel’s endorsement after the jump:

Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee member Bill Schickel has resigned as Secretary of the Party in order to support the gubernatorial campaign of State Representative Rod Roberts. Schickel said he resigned because officers have agreed to remain neutral in the primary.  He will, however, complete his term as a member of the State Central Committee representing the 4th District.

“I can no longer remain neutral,” said Schickel, a former state representative and Mason City mayor. “Our party is currently divided. Neither of the frontrunners has shown that they can bring the two sides together. If the current division continues we will certainly lose in November. Rod Roberts has the best chance of beating Chet Culver.”

“He is the only candidate who has demonstrated he can bring together the fiscal and social conservative wings of our party. He has also proven that he can attract the Independents and Democrats that are critical to victory,” Schickel said. “He has done it during the campaign. He did it as a state representative. And he did it in five previous elections.”

“Rod is an underdog right now, but he is also the candidate with momentum,” Schickel said. “While the numbers for the frontrunners have remained essentially flat, Rod in the past three months has gone from almost no voter recognition to capturing 19 percent of the Republican vote in the Dallas County straw poll and winning the Guthrie County straw poll this past weekend.”

“Whenever Republicans meet him, they are won over,” Schickel said. “He is a solid fiscal and social conservative who is also a fresh face. That is exactly what our party needs, and more importantly, what Iowa needs.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

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


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