Last 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 HawkeyeReview.com, 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.
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