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November 12th, 2013

Monte Shaw Wins Election to the State Central Committee

GREENFIELD – Former Iowa GOP State Central Committee member Monte Shaw returned to the state party’s board of directors on Tuesday by winning a special election in Greenfield. Shaw fills the vacancy amongst Third Congressional District representatives that created when Wes Enos resigned from the committee last month.

Shaw won on the first ballot with 21 votes. Pottawattamie County GOP Chair Jeff Jorgensen finished second with 14 votes. Polk County activist Art Smith received three votes.

Shaw previously served two terms on the SCC while a resident of Adair County. He now lives in West Des Moines. Shaw opted not to run for reelection in 2012.

All three candidates were blunt in their criticism of the state party and cited the need for change.

“From talking to many of you in this room, I feel that state party communication with our county parties appears lacking,” Shaw told the District Executive Committee prior to the vote. “I feel that the relations between the state party and our elected officials are strained and in the media they like to portray it as even hostile. I think the 2012 voter program was an epic failure. I think we lost the presidency, we lost ground in the Iowa House, we failed to gain ground in the Iowa Senate. So, if you think that last year and a half was rosy, great times for the Republican Party of Iowa, then I might not be your candidate.”

You can view Shaw’s complete speech below: live-blogged the meeting. You can read that below:

The Iowa GOP State Central Committee receives a new member tonight. A vacancy was created last month when Wes Enos resigned from the committee. The Third District Executive Committee convenes tonight to fill the void. The announced candidates are Pottawattamie County GOP Chairman Jeff Jorgensen, former SCC member Monte Shaw and conservative activist Art Smith.

The DEC is made up of the county chairs and co-chairs from the 16 counties in the Third Congressional District, as well as some extras from Polk County, Dallas and Pottawattamie counties, due to their larger population . is at the convention, held at the Hotel Greenfield (in…wait for it…Greenfield). We will live blog the event. It gets underway at 7pm. Hit ‘REFRESH’ often to stay updated.

6:25 pm – There are 16 counties in the Third District, so it is the smallest congressional district in Iowa in terms of counties, but the most important, says Third District DEC Chair Naomi Leinen, semi-jokingly.

6:30 pm – Art Smith is the first candidate on the scene. He was here early. Monte Shaw arrived a few minutes ago. There are only a few delegates on hand so far. There is still some ice on the main streets in Greenfield. I almost slipped and busted my backside on the way in. I’m sure that would have provided plenty of amusement for others.

6:34 pm – RNC National Committeewoman Tamara Scott has arrived. The delegates are slowly filtering in. Scott is not a delegate.

6:42 pm – The SCC election is not the only thing taking place tonight. This is the Third DEC’s quarterly meeting. They will also discuss and vote on the site for next year’s Third District convention. That is sure to be an interesting discussion. I know various counties are interested in hosting it.

6:44 pm – Dane Nealson, who is helping with the Senate District 13 special election is here. They are looking for volunteers for this weekend. Secretary of Ag Bill Northey will be there Saturday. Senator Grassley on Sunday. The office is 104 West Second Ave. in Indianola. We need to keep this seat, so help out this weekend if you can. Julian Garrett is the GOP nominee. Former House Rep. Mark Davitt is the democrat.

6:48 pm – Crystal McIntyre is the new co-chair in Warren County. She is here as a delegate and DEC member. McIntyre replaces Steve McCoy who resigned after not receiving the SD 13 nomination.

6:50 pm – And all three contenders are here. Jeff Jorgensen just walked in the room.

6:51 pm – For background on the three candidates, click here.

6:52 pm – None of the announced candidates are from the Ron Paul wing of the party. Jorgensen supported Newt Gingrich at the caucus. I don’t recall who Shaw and Smith supported, but it wasn’t Ron Paul. Wes Enos was a Bachmann staffer and not part of the contingent that votes in line with the party chairman consistently. So, unless there is a late “liberty” entrant, this election will not change the makeup of the current committee.

6:54 pm – Monte Shaw served two terms on the SCC. He did not run for reelection in 2012. Art Smith has been actively involved in the Polk County GOP. He served as the communications director a few years ago, strictly on a volunteer basis. Jorgensen is in his second term as the Pott Co. chair.

6:57 pm – Three minutes from convention time. Folks are still filing in. I think this will start a little bit late.

7:03 pm – Just chatted with Jeff Jorgensen, giving me a story about a hot air balloon near crash he was involved in in Denison. The guy’s braver than I am.

7:04 pm – We’re going to be starting late. Folks are still getting registered.

7:07 pm – RNC National Committeeman Steve Scheffer and SCC member Gopal Krishna are in the house.

7:08 pm – The room is filling up. It looks like there is a good turnout. Certainly enough for a quorum.

7:10 pm – We might need a bigger boat. Or remove the lowly media people and insignificant bloggers…

7:11 pm – Lots of interested parties here as well. There is a representative from the Branstad campaign here, Julian Garrett’s campaign and Matt Schultz’s campaign. Still waiting to get underway…

7:14 pm – It looks like Chair Naomi Leinen is about to call the meeting to order. So we are getting started here.

7:15 pm – By the way, proxy votes are allowed. I’m still waiting for an exact figure on the number of delegates. Leinen is reading the DEC’s mission statement.

7;17 pm – Just did the prayer and Pledge of Allegiance. SCC member Joel Kurtinitis did the prayer.

7:18 pm – SCC member John Kabitzke is here as well. So the other three Third District representatives are here.

7:19 pm – Montgomery County GOP Chair Margaret Stoldorf voices her displeasure that the minutes from the last meeting are too brief.

7:20 pm – Starting nominations now…

7:21 pm – Former Polk GOP Chairman John Bloom nominates Art Smith. Each nominator gets 1 minute to speak. Bloom praises Smith’s work for the Polk GOP. He notes it shouldn’t matter where the nominee resides. Part of Jeff Jorgensen’s argument is the SCC needs better representation on the western side of the district.

7:22 pm – Dean Hopkins from Guthrie County GOP, the chairman, nominates Monte Shaw.

7:23 pm – Dean says Monte will work with all counties, is “a very honest and ethical person…”, will “be honest in this person and working with everybody.” He also says Shaw’s experience will enable him to “hit the ground running”. Hopkins says he is one of those who encouraged Monte Shaw to run.

7:24 pm – Montgomery County GOP Chair Margaret Stoldorf nominates Jeff Jorgensen.

7:25 pm – Stoldorf notes the SW quadrant of the Third District is important. Calls Jorgensen “a good disciple for the Republican Party”, “a great representative” at the National Convention (he was an alternate delegate). “Jeff has a commitment to represent the entire district…”

7:26 pm – Stoldorf: “It’s time for the party to come together and Jeff is the guy to do that.”

7:27 pm – And nominations cease. So it i the three we figured it would be.

7:28 pm – Candidate speeches now. Art Smith goes first. “It’s not just about the stewardship of hundreds of thousands of dollars…planning caucuses…. ,etc.”…. also a “sacred trust to represent all Republicans.” Smith says the party is consistently locking horns. “Recently our party leaders have argued over supporting, or even acknowledging our governor.” … “Frankly, throw the bums out” is a good idea (paraphrasing).

7:29 pm – Smith says his background and abilities would be well use “to bring sanity” to the party. “It’s time to start getting our  house in order. … Ignite all the grassroots, not just a small segment, but all Republicans…”

7:30 pm – Smith says he has a plan to bring the party together and win 2014 elections. He notes that he reached out to almost all of the delegates. “I can promise you this: I commit to work with you…serve the candidates you nominate…show up at district events as much as possible…”

7:31 pm – Smith brings up the sharing of voter lists. Some counties are having problems with RPI in that regard. Smith is done. Very good speech.

7:32 pm – Monte Shaw up now.

7:33 pm – Shaw says he harkened back to his notes when he first ran for the SCC. Shaw is an experienced campaign operative. He said part of his plan was better communication, better voter outreach program, etc. Shaw is clearly basing his campaign on his experience and the successes he had while on the SCC.

7:34 pm – Shaw: “Today I’m reentering the arena…because I feel a lot of those boxes we checked are unchecked.”  Says communication between the state party and the counties is poor, the voter turnout program in 2012 was “horrible”. He says the party has moved backwards over the past year. “I kind of feel like it’s 2008 all over again,” (when he first ran).

7:35 pm – Shaw: “I’m not running to see my name in the Des Moines Register or on talk radio..” “I’m a nuts and bolts guy.” .. “That’s not the job of the party leaders to play favorites…”

7:36 pm – Shaw: “I fully understand one person is not going to make the difference…” but a start toward “getting the party back on the right track”.

7:37 pm – Jeff Jorgensen up now. He says he wants to help “elect conservative Republicans to office”. Jorgensen notes successes in local elections in Pott. Co., and that Senate Leader Mike Gronstal is the only elected countywide democrat.

7:39 pm – Jorgensen notes that the RNC database is horrendous and has phone number wrong. I concur. It’s bad.

7:40 pm – Says we should be recruited democrats and independents who are fed up with the Obamacare fiasco.

7:41 pm – Jorgensen says often on the SCC, and even tonight, things are already decided before the meeting begins. He says they have a motto in Pott Co. that they don’t have to like each other, but need to work together. He echoes Shaw’s statement about keeping RPI leadership’s name off the front page of the DM Register.

7:42 pm – Jorgensen says tonight “we can send a message out that help is on the way” for Republicans who want a united party.

7:43 pm — Jorgensen is done. Another very good speech. All three candidates made good cases for why they should be on the SCC. One delegate asked if the chair would entertain a notion to insert all three on the SCC. Good idea..

7:44 pm – Now allowing county announcements: Warren County GOP is holding a U.S. Senate candidate forum Saturday morning at 8am, then will proceed with doorknocking for Julian Garrett in the SD 13 special election.

7:44 pm – Let the voting begin…

7:45 pm – Dane Nealson, the Story County GOP chair, who is helping Julian Garrett’s campaign, encourages the delegates to help the SD 13 special election. He notes that Warren County has had four elections this year. “They’re electioned out.” They have been busy there with the casino vote and everything else. Turnout, as it always is, will be the key in the special election. November 19 is the big day. That’s next Tuesday. We need to keep this seat.

7:47 pm – Kaylee from Governor Branstad’s campaign plugs the Branstad Birthday Bash, featuring 2012 vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan. It’s this Saturday at 5:30.

7:48 pm – Margaret Stoldforf plugs “The Christmas Candle”, the movie being distributed by Rick Santorum’s studio.

7:49 pm – And the Polk GOP is holding a special screening of “Caucus” on Tuesday, November 19 at Fleur Cinema.

7:52 pm – The live blogger hands his laptop off to a neighbor to watch it. He should know better than to do things like that. Probably the color of his hair.

7:53 pm -I’m back.  Dane Nealson is a tool, btw. 🙂

7:54 pm – The votes are in.  WE HAVE A WINNER: Monte Shaw, 21, Jeff Jorgensen, 14 (I think), Art Smith got 3 votes.  Monte Shaw is back on the SCC.

7:55 pm – Don’t go away yet. We’re not discussing where the 2014 District convention will take place. Jeff Jorgensen immediately withdraws the offer from Pottawattamie County to host it. Interesting. Guthrie County is making a pitch to host it.

7:56 pm – Guthrie County hosted the convention in Stuart last time. Chairman Dean Hopkins says some of the issues last time, like with the sound system, have been addressed. The school has a new sound system.

7:57 pm – Polk GOP Co-Chair Sherill Whisenand asks how the community feels about hosting it in Stuart. Hopkins notes that the mayor was involved and the community pitched in last time. Hopkins says the parking is better than it was last time.

7:59 pm – Warren County GOP Chair Rick Halverson notes he wasn’t impressed last time, but feels Stuart is the best, most centralized location. Says the lunch situation was a debacle. I do recall he had a big blowup with one very prominent Republican who was helping handle the lunches last time. Halverson says he is open to having it in Guthrie again.

8:00 pm – Now taking a vote. Voice acclimation is to host it in Guthrie County. NOTE: This is a “suggestion”. I guess the SCC ultimately decides where the district conventions wlll be held. The Third District overwhelmingly wants Guthrie County.

8:01 pm – And that’s pretty much it. They’re about to wrap up here, and so will I. Congratulations to Monte Shaw, the new representative of the Third District on the State Central Committee.

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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