While Ron Paul is still in search of his first win of the 2012 Republican presidential campaign, one of his Iowa strategists, A.J. Spiker, was elected Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. Spiker will fill out the remainder of Matt Strawn’s second term, which will end in January. Strawn resigned after being criticized for his handling of the Iowa Caucus results and the ensuing certification process.
The selection of Spiker by the Republican State Central Committee (SCC) has raised questions from some Republican activists. Spiker is an unabashed supporter of Ron Paul and was on his payroll. Since being elected to his new post, Spiker has told the Des Moines Register that he has resigned his position with the Paul campaign and will back the eventual Republican nominee.
It is good to hear that Spiker will back the Republican nominee since Paul has run as a third party candidates before. Paul has refused to totally rule out a third party run this year in multiple debates and interviews. The likelihood that Paul would run third party seems slim since his son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, seems to be waiting in the wings to pick up and carry his father’s mantle, and it seems he wants to do so within the GOP.
With the increasing odds that the Republican nomination fight could continue all the way to the national convention, Spiker would be wise to make sure the selection of delegates to the national convention reflects what happened at the caucuses. While Iowa delegates are not bound to any candidate, any notion that Ron Paul may receive more delegates to the national convention than Santorum or Romney will cause Spiker an unneeded headache and possible floor fight at the state convention.
As long as Spiker is viewed as being fair and doesn’t condone or orchestrate some sort of Ron Paul dominated delegation to the national convention in Tampa, there isn’t much to be concerned about. The reaction by some people who have voiced concerns about Spiker taking over the helm of the Iowa GOP is uncalled for. Despite what you may have read in the comment section on this website, Spiker is well respected within the committee and conducts himself in a professional manner.
Spiker has been a very involved member of the SCC, taking his role as an overseer of the party seriously. He’s never been afraid to ask more questions and want more details about what’s happening with the party than most SCC members, even though Spiker and other similar members of the committee may have been seen as meddling in the nuances of how the Iowa GOP operates. During his time on the SCC, Spiker has proven to be one of the most engaged members and never afraid to lead on an issue or ask the staff to explain why and how things were done in a certain way.
Those who are predicting doom and gloom for the Iowa GOP because of Spiker’s association with Ron Paul and the Campaign for Liberty might want to give him some time behind the desk before they cast judgment. Spiker is professional and respectful to others. In the year that I’ve known him, I’ve never had a problem with how he conducts himself. As for his fundraising abilities, all of the candidates could be considered weak in that department. The same concern was also raised when Strawn was elected, and while Strawn utilized the caucuses and the 2010 elections to leverage donations to the party, he never developed strong relationships with major Republican donors in the state.
As for those who seem to be upset that a Ron Paul organizer is now leading the Iowa GOP, remember that elections always have consensuses. The five Ron Paul supporters/activists who hold seats on the SCC were elected by their peers. Those five people provided Spiker a solid core of support that allowed him to acquire the nine votes needed to win. A Paul-led Iowa GOP is something that could be seen coming for a while. It’s not some sort of unexpected coup like some people are suggesting.
If people are concerned about the number of Ron Paul supporters on the committee, they will be able change the balance of power on the committee by replacing them with someone else. There will be elections for all of the SCC members and national committee-people at the district and state conventions in the upcoming months. If you don’t like the current direction of things, you can elect new people to represent you.
Spiker has a tough task in front of him, but the good news is that he has a competent and experienced staff to implement the district and state conventions and the victory program this fall. Like it or not, A.J. Spiker is the Chairman of the Iowa GOP, and just like Matt Strawn and the other chairs that were elected before him, he deserves a chance to prove his critics wrong.
Photo by Dave Davidson – Prezography.com
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