@SenRandPaul hires former #IAGOP chair @sgrubbs as consultant #2016

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has hired Steve Grubbs as a consultant. Grubbs’ most recent consulting work in Iowa politics was done on behalf of Mark Jacobs, the perceived “establishment” candidate in the Iowa GOP’s 2014 U.S. Senate race. Jacobs finished third in the primary, with about 17 percent of the vote.

With the hire, Rand Paul acquires an operative not previously associated with the “liberty movement” inside the Iowa GOP.

Grubbs is a former chairman of the Iowa Republican Party and a former state legislator. He was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives when he was 25 years old.  When Grubbs was 31, he put his name on a statewide ballot. Grubbs ran for the Iowa Republican Party’s U.S. Senate nomination in 1998, for the chance to face off against Democrat Tom Harkin.  Grubbs was among a handful of ambitious Republican lawmakers in the Iowa House who wanted to crack a sort of glass ceiling in Iowa politics — the ceiling created by long-time Republican officeholders Terry Branstad and Chuck Grassley (who are still holding office and seeking election 16 years later, by the way).

The primary that year was shaping up a lot like the GOP Senate primary Iowans just witnessed. Grubbs and his opponent, state senator Maggie Tinsman of neighboring Bettendorf,  were not well-known outsidethe Quad Cities. Grubbs was considered the front-runner in the race early on.

However, while Republican Congressmen Tom Latham and Steve King ruled out running in 2014, then-Congressman Jim Ross Lightfoot entered the race in March, just three months before the primary. Lightfoot won the GOP’s nomination with an Ernst-esque 61 percent of the vote, then lost a close race against Democratic Senator Tom Harkin that fall.

Grubbs worked for Steve Forbes presidential campaign in 2000.  I interviewed him a few years ago about the air-conditioned tent the Forbes campaign put up for the Iowa GOP Straw Poll in August of 1999. Grubbs was also brought in to briefly run the Herman Cain effort in Iowa until it ended December 3, 2011. When I asked Grubbs what one does with campaign signs for a campaign that has ended, he quipped: “You recycle.”

Read more about the Rand Paul/Steve Grubbs alliance below in the RANDPAC news release:

Iowa RANDPAC Chief Strategist Announcement

Des Moines – Senator Rand Paul named former Republican Party of Iowa Chairman, Steve Grubbs, as Chief Strategist of his Iowa RANDPAC operation today.

“If we’re to be successful in putting together an effective organization to advance the cause of liberty and freedom, we need to have successful state operations. Steve’s experience as State Chair, serving in the Iowa legislature and working for five previous presidential campaigns will help us build on what we already have in place,” said Paul. “He will join A.J Spiker in Iowa, and Doug Stafford nationally, in leading the organization that I rely on to advance the cause of Liberty in Iowa and nationwide.”

Grubbs, a former Davenport legislator, is founder of Victory Enterprises, a Midwest-based political and technology consultancy firm.

“Senator Paul has the commitment to liberty and freedom that our nation is looking for in a time when the White House is relentlessly eroding both. I also believe that Rand Paul has the ability to broaden the base of our party to younger voters which is essential to the future,” said Grubbs.

Steve Grubbs has served in leadership roles for two of Senator Bob Dole’s presidential campaigns as well as Steve Forbes, Tommy Thompson and Herman Cain.

Grubbs, who currently chairs an international technology network of 3,600 tech CEO’s will also provide assistance in the inclusion of technology, social media and digital strategies into the effort.

Doug Stafford, Executive Director of RANDPAC, commented on his relationship with Grubbs, “I’ve known Steve for more than a decade. He is well-respected in Republican politics and a good strategic thinker. I look forward to working with him in the coming months.”

Grubbs joins A.J. Spiker, also a former Iowa GOP Chair, in the Iowa RANDPAC operation. Said Spiker: “I am pleased to be working with someone of the caliber of Steve Grubbs, and believe this is an important step for RANDPAC and advancing Senator Paul’s political and policy goals.”

RANDPAC is a political action committee whose goal is to elect Republicans across the United States who are committed to less government and more freedom. Senator Paul has actively traveled across the nation campaigning on behalf of Republicans and expects to maintain an aggressive schedule into 2015 and beyond.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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