Considering the amount of flood damage in Cedar Rapids four years ago, a candidate with the last name “Flood” is not likely to bring pleasant thoughts to voters in the area. However, they will see a Flood on the ballot this November. Ryan Flood was the lone candidate nominated by Linn County Republicans in Senate District 34 during a special convention on Monday.
Flood replaces Randi Shannon as the GOP nominee. Shannon dropped out of the race in bizarre fashion last month, proclaiming that she had been appointed the “U.S. Senator for the Republic of the United States”. Ryan Flood was listed on disclosure reports as Shannon’s campaign chair.
“I actually didn’t really know about that until it was on the news,” Flood said. “I was down in Texas and she asked me to come up and help her out. I knew she was trying to get some paperwork done at the last second, so it doesn’t surprise me that she put me on there.”
Ryan Flood said he had just begun efforts to assist with Shannon’s campaign when he learned she dropped out. Flood adds that he has “cut all ties” with Randi Shannon and disagrees with the “U.S. Senator’s” views that the U.S. government has been illegitimate since 1871.
“I don’t know anything about that,” Flood told TheIowaRepublican. “I heard a little bit about that and looked into it a little bit and I still don’t really follow what they’re talking about. The government that we have is the legitimate government. It’s the one we need to work with.”
Although Republicans hold a voter registration advantage in SD 34 of more than 900, a victory by Flood in November is highly unlikely. He is running against former Cedar Rapids television anchor Liz Mathis, a Democrat, who maintains extremely high name recognition in the area.
Mathis won a special election over Cindy Golding last year after Governor Branstad appointed then-state senator Swati Dandekar to the Iowa Utilities Board. In hindsight, this was not a good move for Republicans. Dandekar would have been easier to defeat than Mathis.
There are well known Republicans in Senate District 34 who could have given Mathis a decent challenge this year. Despite efforts to recruit other candidates, both before the June primary and after Shannon’s mind-boggling departure, no one other than Ryan Flood was interested in the seat.
“I think part of it is because it’s so late,” said state central committee member David Chung, who chaired the special convention. “It’s late in the cycle and Mathis certainly has name recognition. On the other hand, she now has a record. And we can run against that record, so I think that’s a positive.”
21 of the 43 Linn County central committee members who were asked to be delegates for the convention showed up Monday night. Conservative activist Emma Nemecek nominated Flood. Following a brief speech, he was chosen as the nominee via acclamation.
“I thought he handled himself very well,” Chung said. “He came across very intelligent and likable. He seems like a sharp young man.”
Ryan Flood grew up in Marion and attended the University of Iowa. Following college, he worked as a financial advisor, then served on Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign. Flood also spent a few months in Texas working on a “liberty” PAC. Flood was shadowed at the convention by state central committee member Jeff Shipley, who is one of the more outspoken Ron Paul supporters that were elected to the SCC earlier this year.
Also on Monday, Lance Lefebure, a small business owner who develops agriculture-related technology, picked up the House District 70 nomination in a special convention. Lefebure was the only nominee. Democrats hold a voter registration edge of more than 3,300 in the Cedar Rapids district. Lefebure will compete against 10-term Democrat Todd Taylor.
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