Following a public backlash and basic research, at least one prominent member of the Republican Party of Iowa’s State Central Committee has changed his mind regarding moving the 2014 state convention from June to July.
“I believe that it is important that we move the convention back into June,” RNC National Committeeman Steve Scheffler wrote Monday in a monthly report that he sends to Iowa Republicans.
Scheffler joined at least 10 other SCC members who voted last month to change the date of the convention from June 14 to July 12. SCC member Cody Hoefert says he either was not in the room or was not aware of the vote when it occurred. Another member, Joel Kurtinitis, claims he abstained from voting. However, the vote was recorded as 13-0 in favor of moving the convention. Five SCC members were not in attendance.
The state convention is traditionally held in June, following the primary elections. RPI cited the crowded U.S. Senate race as their reasoning for moving the convention. The Republican nominee might have to be chosen by convention delegates, in case none of the candidates surpass the 35 percent threshold in the primary. The Iowa secretary of state’s office has 27 days following the primary to certify the votes.
Without consulting with the secretary of state’s office, the Republican Party of Iowa decided they needed to hold the state convention after that 27-day certification period. The entire discussion about moving the convention, and the vote, took only three minutes.
That decision was quickly rebuked by all five of the declared Republican U.S. Senate candidates, Governor Branstad, Senator Grassley and Republicans across the state. Their contention is that, if the GOP U.S. Senate nominee is not chosen until mid-July, presumptive Democrat nominee Bruce Braley will greatly benefit from the delay.
According to Scheffler, Loras Schulte, one of the SCC members who was not present at the meeting, researched the vote certification issue more closely. They have both concluded that moving the convention to July is unnecessary.
“The new information that convinces me that we must have a June convention is that Iowa’s 99 county auditors must have the primary vote canvass completed by June 9 or 10,” Scheffler wrote. “All absentee and provisional ballots will be included in this canvass and these numbers are the final certified results for each county. The secretary of state will reiterate the results of each county’s canvass.”
Scheffler says the state convention should take place either June 14, the originally scheduled date, or June 21.
“Loras contends, and I agree, that moving the convention date to June 21 might make the most sense,” Scheffler said. “This way it gives us a little wiggle room and breathing space if needed.”
In the immediate fallout of the decision to move the convention, several SCC members said they were open to returning the convention to June. Fourth District representatives Cody Hoefert and Jamie Johnson are adamantly opposed to holding the convention in July. Johnson was not present at the meeting.
Photo by Dave Davidson
blog comments powered by Disqus