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March 18th, 2009

New Leadership for the Linn County GOP

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Written by: Craig Robinson

linngopLast night, Linn County Republicans gathered to elect their leadership team for the 2010 election cycle. Jim Conklin, the current Linn County chairman, along with the rest of the county executive committee who were seeking re-election, were defeated by a slate of candidates headed by Tim Palmer, who was elected as the new Chairman of the Linn County GOP.

Conklin had a track record of being a worker bee for the party and the Republican candidates in Linn County, but he was also a bit of a lightning-rod to some in Polk County. At the last Republican state convention, Conklin railed against Steve Scheffler and Gopal Krishna over the Iowa Christian Alliance’s use of a slate in getting their members selected as delegates to the national convention. Conklin was also a loud critic of National Committeewoman Kim Lehman’s comments about 2nd District Congressional candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks.

Tim Palmer is a small business owner in the food manufacturing industry, having founded Clover Hill Creations in 2001. Palmer lost his business in last year’s floods but is planning to re-open for business on May 1st. He is also the publisher and editor of, a blog focusing on Republican politics in Iowa. Palmer also serves on the Board of Directors for Hawkeye Area Council of Boy Scouts of America. Tim and his wife, Carol, are members of Antioch Christian Church and have nine children.

Tim is also the son of Don Palmer, a former Apollo engineer from Rockwell-Collins, who is now retired. Don ran against State Representative Robert Hogg in 2002, losing by only 585 votes out of the 11,146 cast. Don Palmer wanted another shot at Hogg in 2004 but lost his primary bid to Mary Meisterling.

When asked about his election as Chairman of the Linn County GOP, Palmer said, “I’m honored to serve with a leadership team of talented, dedicated Republicans here in Linn County. We’re anxious to implement our vision which focuses on the fundamentals of rebuilding the county organization.”

Palmer plans to organize Linn County “precinct by precinct, house by house, and vote by vote.” He also said, “All Republicans are welcome to join us as we work together to unify our party and then proceed to the business of supporting great candidates and winning elections.”

Palmer’s organizational skills were already on display last night. His slate of candidates included Mark Hudson, who defeated Harold Barnes for Co-Chair, Brent Schulte, who defeated Laurie Hamilton for Treasurer, and Dawn Brown, who defeated Mary Bowman for Secretary.

While Conklin had been very public about his opposition to such slates, they are a very effective organizational tool in elections like these.

About the Author

Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country.

Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses.

A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states.

Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site,

Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing.

Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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