In just a couple of days, Republican activists will gather at their county conventions to ratify a county platform and select delegates to the district and state conventions. While this is nothing new, there is a twist this year, the delegates will not know where the state convention is going to be held at until after they agree to be district and state delegates.
If you think this is not a big deal, think again. In previous years, the state convention has been held in either Des Moines or Cedar Rapids. For the past decade, the Republican Party of Iowa has held its conventions in Des Moines because activist from southwest Iowa voiced their displeasure with having to drive to Cedar Rapids in the past. This year, Sioux City seems to be the the front runner for the Republican convention.
According to Google Maps, it’s only a 400 mile, or six and a half hour trip, from Keokuk to Sioux City. A little less if you are traveling from Davenport, and only a 300 mile or 2 hour trip for those living in Polk County. As you can probably guess, I think this is a bad idea.
Look, I understand that delegates from the boarder communities get sick of traveling to Des Moines all of the time, but it is located in the center of the state. I also think that having an off year convention outside of Des Moines is a recipe for disaster.
Conventions are pointless without participation. I’ve never seen Polk County fill their entire delegation at a convention when it was held in their backyard, imagine what it would look like if they had to drive a couple hours. I think everyone would agree that to win elections Republican must do better in eastern Iowa. So why on earth would we tell these activists to travel five or more hours to attend the convention? Seems counterproductive to me.
If the goal is to find the cheapest place to hold the convention then I’m sure Sioux City makes sense. While being frugal is important, so having a well attended state convention. Since this is an off year convention and people are not vying to be national delegates there isn’t much of a reason to go. I would just play it safe and keep it in Des Moines, but that not what I think is about to happen.
I’m sure there are pros and cons to all the possible convention sites, but what say you?
blog comments powered by Disqus