Small business owner Dan LeRette bested two other candidates in the GOP’s special nominating convention Wednesday night for House District 33. He will face Democrat House Leader Kevin McCarthy for the southeast Des Moines seat in November.
LeRette, 40, was not aware there would be a special nominating convention until receiving a notice in the mail asking him to attend as a voting delegate. After researching the other announced candidates, LeRette decided he would run.
“Frankly, when I went to the primary and there was no Republican to vote for, it really bothered me,” LeRette said. “I didn’t realize there was an alternate process. As part of the caucus process I did end up on the central committee so I was one of the delegates on the convention that was called. I saw there were two candidates that were interested. Frankly, I didn’t feel like I could support either one of them, so I placed my name in nomination.”
The other two candidates were Cory Ewing, a member of the Libertarian Party, and Jeremy Walters, who brought embarrassment to the Republican Party of Iowa with comments he made while running against McCarthy two years ago. Both supported Ron Paul in the Iowa Caucus. LeRette was a volunteer for Rick Perry’s campaign.
Dan LeRette was one of only three delegates to show up for the special convention. On the first ballot, he says he decided not to cast a vote. One of the other delegates did vote for him and Ewing received one vote. So the convention went to a second ballot. LeRette voted for himself this time and won 2-1.
Now he faces an uphill battle in the general election, where Democrats hold a voter registration edge of more than 4,500 and Democrat House Leader Kevin McCarthy will have unlimited resources at his disposal.
“Well, there’s not much time, but we do plan an active campaign. I think I bring a unique perspective to this race. I’m a blue collar guy,” LeRette said. “The Democrats clearly have the lead in registrations, but the interesting is, it’s a very independent district as well. If you start adding up most of the independents, some of the Democrats, and all the Republicans, you can beat this guy.”
Dan LeRette was born in Council Bluffs and moved to Des Moines three years ago. He and his wife own a small business that purchases old homes, renovates and re-sells them.
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