Now that we’re half the way through 2009, our attention starts to focus on the elections in 2010. We have an active race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination underway, but there are many other key races that have yet to take shape.
At the top of the list are challengers to Democratic incumbents for Congress, and of particular interest to many, the challenger to Congressman Leonard Boswell. Of the three Democratic controlled congressional seats in the Iowa delegation, Iowa’s 3rd District remains the best pickup opportunity.
Chairman Matt Strawn has been very active in the past several months, especially since becoming the RPI’s new Chairman. He’s hired numerous fundraisers, a couple of full timers, a couple of part timers, and handful of vendors. He’s brought on an experienced Executive Director, and added substantial beef to the communications division of the Party with the addition of Danielle Plogmann. He’s tweeting, Facebooking, texting, posting videos on YouTube, and traveling extensively.
But I’ve heard from some sources who tell me that Strawn has his eyes on a congressional seat…and intends to challenge Boswell and make a bid for Iowa’s 3rd congressional seat, which is fine. We need aggressive candidates challenging the status quo, and Boswell typifies the status quo more than anyone.
The question though is when? We need a candidate to step forward now, but he’s the party chair. How would that work? If he waits until 2012 who knows what redistricting will do since Iowa is likely to lose a seat in congress.
If you look back at various Chairmen of the Republican Party, you can see that good things usually happen to them if they do a good job of doing what they promised to do: elect members of their party to seats all over the state. Kayne Robinson, Brian Kennedy, and Chuck Larson all proved that if you do what you were elected to do as RPI Chair, other doors will open. None of them were as bold at self-promotion as Strawn has been.
I think there is little doubt that Strawn has eyes on a congressional seat. But the best course of action for Stawn is to put his head down, honor his commitment to the State Central Committee, and help guide us through the critical elections of 2010.
But what if he doesn’t want to wait? Then what?
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