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March 26th, 2012

Pearson: “I Support McLaughlin”

State representative and Polk County Central Committee member Kim Pearson refutes reports that she is involved with a group trying to oust Polk GOP Chairman Kevin McLaughlin. In fact, Pearson says she supports keeping McLaughlin in the position. heard from multiple sources last week that Pearson was helping to organize central committee members to oust McLaughlin and co-chair Dave Funk and hoped to replace them with fellow Ron Paul supporters. Pearson says those rumors are absolutely false. The freshman representative says she did receive one phone call from the anti-McLaughlin group, but declined to join it.

Pearson is not even sure if she will be in attendance at Tuesday’s central committee meeting, due to her legislative responsibilities. However, if she is in attendance and a vote is called for, Pearson says she will vote for retaining Chairman McLaughlin. The Polk GOP Central Committee sent postcards to members last week informing them that a member has “requested a vote regarding the status of the Chairman”. McLaughlin has been under fire since a chaotic Polk County GOP convention on March 10. The central committee meets at 7pm Tuesday evening.

Additionally, Polk County GOP fundraisers Darrell Kearney, Nick Van Patten and Steve Roberts sent an email to central committee members on Monday voicing their support for Chairman McLaughlin. The text of that email is below:

From: Nick Van Patten, Polk County Finance Chair

Darrell Kearney, Polk County Finance Director

Steve Roberts, Chairman, Robb Kelley Club
Subject: Motion to remove the County Chairman

As you all are aware by now, from the Post Card Meeting Notice to Central Committee members, there is a request from a Central Committee Member to “vote on the status of the Chairman” at Tuesday’s Central Committee meeting.

As the three people most charged with the responsibility of raising the necessary funds to meet our financial obligations, we are very concerned about changing leadership before the 2012 election. We believe the removal of Chairman McLaughlin before his term expires in January would have severe consequences in fundraising. One of Kevin’s strengths is his relationship and friendship with Polk County business owners and leaders who are the backbone of our Robb Kelley Club members and Hosts of our annual fundraising dinners and events.

With Kevin’s help, we increased our fundraising in 2011 over 2010 by $15,000 and in just 10 weeks of 2012 we have doubled our fund raising over the first 10 weeks of last year. The ousting of Chairman McLaughlin and the resulting split in the Party would send shock waves through the Republican business community and our donor base. Without question an immediate negative impact would be felt that could require re-assessment of our efforts.

Under Kevin’s leadership Polk County has made great strides in almost every aspect of political activity from registering 4500 new Republicans, recruiting a record number of legislative Candidates and his outreach efforts to African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics. He is breaking through to the Sudanese community in Polk County who are eligible voters and are interested in voting Republican this year. All of this activity is an investment in the Republican Party and it is paying dividends.

For what reason should all of this come to a halt? What purpose is served in destroying the best fundraising effort in county history? We have raised over $370,000 in just 26 months! That is more money than was raised in the previous 20 years!

This infighting helps democrats and Obama and does not elect Republicans. A few Mistakes may have been made along the way but they do not warrant the Chairman’s removal. Let’s stay unified and focus on defeating Democrats.


Nick Van Patten          Steve Roberts          Darrell Kearney

Photo by Dave Davidson,

About the Author

Kevin Hall

Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor’s office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad’s 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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