Iowa GOP chair’s statement on Straw Poll

The chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa has issued a written statement about the upcoming vote members of the Iowa GOP’s state central committee will take regarding the future of the Ames Straw Poll. Read Jeff Kaufmann’s statement below:

Chairman Kaufmann’s Statement:
I recently had the honor of attending the swearing-in ceremonies for Iowa’s new Republican leaders in Congress. As Senator Ernst and Congressmen Blum and Young swore the oath to defend the Constitution as our voices in Washington, it was the culmination of the tens of thousands of volunteer hours contributed by Republican grassroots activists across the state.
These same activists are the lifeblood of the Iowa Caucuses. Regular citizens, without title or privilege, who are unafraid to look a powerful politician in the eye and ask tough questions. This is a process worth fighting for and preserving. A process that rewards retail campaigning, meeting Iowans in person and not through a television screen. And, for over three-plus decades, a process that includes a voluntary poll taken at a major Iowa GOP August fundraiser showcasing presidential candidates.
In recent months, speculation has grown that party rules passed since the 2012 Iowa Caucuses may prohibit presidential straw polls at fundraising events and possibly place Iowa’s protected First-in-the-Nation status in jeopardy.
Protecting Iowa and a process that gives regular citizens a voice in choosing our presidential nominee is job one. That is why during my recent visit to Washington, D.C., it was a priority to meet with Republican National Committee officials to resolve this speculation once and for all. In discussions with senior RNC officials, including legal counsel, it was crystal clear that the Iowa GOP’s inclusion of a straw poll in an August 2015 fundraising event does not violate those new rules, nor place in jeopardy our status as the lead-off state in the presidential nomination process.
I appreciate the RNC’s hard work in preserving the integrity of the presidential nomination process, and I look forward to the State Central Committee’s decision on the future of the straw poll this Saturday.

The Iowa GOP’s State Central Committee will vote Saturday, January 10, on whether to proceed with plans to include a straw poll in the Iowa GOP’s August fundraising event. The Central Committee, which is comprised of 18 elected representatives from across the state, requires a simple majority to pass resolutions. The Iowa GOP has included a straw poll in its August fundraising event since 1979, when it was won by George H.W. Bush.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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