The Lee County GOP central committee has chosen new leadership. 14 months ago, the county party was thrust into the middle of a national controversy that gave Iowa and our first-in-the-nation status a black eye.
Don Lucas was the chairman of the county party during the controversy. On Monday night, just before new officer elections were held, Lucas announced he was stepping down after a four-year stint. Lee County central committee members chose Terry Schrepfer as the man to replace Lucas.
“I think we’ve got a good leadership team,” said Matt Green, who was elected co-chair on Monday. “I think we are able to move forward from the past and some of the things that happened. I think Terry has the right vision. I think it’ll be a pretty quick learning curve for him to get a grasp on things and get it organized.”
The controversy in Lee County stemmed from the 2012 Iowa Caucus results, which came down to a razor-thin margin between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Romney was declared the winner initially, by eight votes. Following a 16-day certification period, the tally showed Santorum had won by 34 votes.
However, the Republican Party of Iowa was never able to certify the results from eight precincts because they did not submit the required paperwork. Four of those precincts were in Lee County. That placed some unwanted media attention on the southeast Iowa county party and it’s leader at the time.
Don Lucas said the results would have widened the lead for Santorum, but he did not have the required forms necessary for RPI to certify those votes. Due to half the unaccounted for precinct totals coming from one county, and Lucas’ 2007 endorsement of Romney, there was a lot of fingerpointing, inside and outside of Lee County.
Now, the Lee County GOP hopes to put the 2012 errors behind them and focus on the next task: helping Republicans get elected in 2014.
“Terry has talked about getting our financial situation back to where it used to be,” Matt Green said. “We’re decent, but we can do better. He wants to make it a little more organized and efficient.”
Dem State Senator’s Heart Surgery Could Freeze Legislation
As I alluded to in my Sunday column (#39), one Democratic state senator’s medical condition could tie up significant legislative bills for an indefinite period of time. As the Des Moines Register confirmed on Monday, Tom Courtney (D-Burlington) underwent heart bypass surgery last week.
Senate bills require at least 26 votes of approval to pass. Since the Democrats hold a 26-24 majority in the Iowa Senate, any partisan bills that would pass on a purely party line vote are unlikely to be brought to the floor until Courtney returns. That date remains unknown.
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