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April 23rd, 2014
 

Voter Guide: 2014 State Central Committee Candidates

Iowa Republicans will select the new board of directors for the state party this weekend. One of the most important duties for district convention delegates is to vote in the State Central Committee elections.

Each district will elect four candidates, 16 in total. 12 members of the current SCC are running for reelection. To help delegates make informed choices, TheIowaRepublican.com offers this handy SCC voter guide.

We attempted to contact all announced candidates via Facebook, email and telephone. Each candidate was asked the same questions. Their responses appear below. Other than cleaning up a few typos and grammatical errors, answers are unedited and appear verbatim as supplied by the candidate.

If any candidate is not listed here, or did not respond, and would like to have their answers published, they can send their answers via our contact page. The candidates are listed alphabetically by their last name, per district.

*UPDATE: Current SCC member Jeff Shipley was mistakenly omitted from the originally published article. His information has been added under the Second District candidates. We apologize for the error. 

*SECOND UPDATE: Chelsy Aksren submitted her answers Thursday evening. The guide has been updated to include her responses.

*THIRD UPDATE: A new candidate has emerged in the Third District. Michael Demastus’ information has been added.

*FOURTH UPDATE: Sherill Whisenand was not listed as a “current member”. She was elected to the SCC on April 14. Her inclusion brings the total number of SCC candidates seeking reelection to 12.

 

FIRST DISTRICT (Seven candidates)

CHELLE ADKINS

Why do you want to join the State Central Committee?

This is going to be a very good year for us.  We have a real shot at taking the US Senate seat and a Congressional seat in the First District. I want to work to unite the party to help us win those seats. I also want to help restore faith and trust within our party and get back on track to electing Republicans.

What do you believe is the role of the State Central Committee?

I primarily see the role of the State Central Committee as a service and leadership position. We should be a liaison between the counties, the District Executive Committees and the state party to help open the lines of communication and elect Republicans. We should be uniting the party as well as promoting fundraising events that will help fund the county and state parties.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

-helped put together the 1st District Executive Committee

-former State Central Committee Representative & served on the Budget Committee

-served two terms as Black Hawk County GOP Secretary

-gave a presentation on the Iowa Straw Poll for the Senior Companions organization

-helped write and produce a caucus training video

-2008 National Republican Convention Volunteer

-volunteered for numerous state and federal campaigns

-served on the Rules Committee at numerous conventions

 

CHELSY ASKREN

Why do you want to join the SCC? 

To keep Iowa’s cherished conservative values at the forefront and work as a team with my fellow State Central Committee Members to accomplish what is truly best for The Republican Party of Iowa and those I represent in this District.

 What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

 To represent each county central committee within their respective districts & act as a liaison between those committees & the Republican Party of Iowa.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

Campaigns: Rod Blum US House, Mike Breitbach State Senator, Linda Zuercher County Treasurer, Will Johnson State Senator, Mitt Romney President, George Busch President.
County,

District & State Credentials Committee Member 2012, 2014.

County Platform Committee Member 2012.
Precinct,

County, District & State Delegate 2012, 2014.

IA National Delegate to the RNC 2012.

Ran unsuccessfully as a FL National Delegate to the RNC

2008. 
2012-Present Secretary/Treasurer for the Clayton County Central Committee. Co-Moderator for the Central Committee Facebook & Twitter Pages. 
Caucus, Primary, Parade, Campaign & GOP events volunteer working across the 1st District & the State to elect Republicans at all levels of office.

 

DAVID CHUNG (current member)

Why do you want to join the SCC?

With recent rule changes at the RNC and compression of the national caucus/primary calendar, there will be big changes in the 2016 Iowa Caucuses. Having been very involved in the caucus to convention process in Iowa, I believe I have the experience necessary to help our party adapt to these changes and retain our First-in-the-Nation status. If I am re-elected, I will not use my position for personal gain, and the only special interest I will serve is Iowa Republicans.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

The RPI Constitution says the party is to “promote Republican principles and policies and assist in the conduct of national, state and local elections.” I believe the right way to do this is to elect Republicans. As an SCC member I have always remained publicly neutral in primaries and caucuses. I believe that party leaders at all levels must vigorously support EVERY Republican candidate that has been vetted through the primary process.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

While I have run for public office, I am not a professional politician or political activist. I have done the grunt work, door knocking, phone calling, lit dropping, walking in parades and putting up signs for a number of candidates. I have also been very involved in our caucus to convention process chairing numerous county, district and state, platform and rules committees. As a rules expert, each year I help numerous county organizations work their way through issues regarding Roberts Rules of Order.

 

RON HERRIG

Why do you want to join the SCC?

To ensure the election of Republicans by raising the necessary funds along with having the right leadership in place to accomplish this goal.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

I feel it is the responsibility of members of the SCC to elect Republicans. The role of members of the SCC is to raise money to elect all Republicans running in Iowa.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

I have knocked on doors, handed out literature, majored in political science in college and worked as staff on congressional campaigns, gubernatorial campaigns and Iowa Senate and legislative campaigns. Also, I was appointed to the governor’s committee for the employment of the handicapped and served for 10 years as vice-chair. Just recently, I was appointed to the flood mitigation board by Governor Branstad.

 

TONY KREBSBACH (current member)

Why do you want to join the SCC?

Here are the cornerstones on which I am running:

-Working together to advance a constitutionally limited government

-Youth are the future of our party

-Iowa comes first

-Most importantly, Politics is not the answer, its the problem! Our nation will only be revived by actions that individuals like you and I make in our everyday lives. Laws and regulations can sometimes help, but the vast majority of the time they end up causing harm. I am going to change this country more as an individual dedicated to Christ than I will as someone trying to assert my will in the political process.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

I believe the role of the SCC is to provide a connection between the State Party and the Grassroots, to provide a fair, neutral playing ground for Republican Primaries, get republicans elected in the general elections, and to promote the ideals of the Republican party.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

As for my experience, I have served on the SCC since 2012, am currently the Secretary of the SCC, and serve as the Chair of the Mitchell County GOP.  Previous to that I served as my county’s Co-Chair, and have worked hard within my county to promote Republican Principles and all Republican Candidates, campaigning especially hard in 2012, with Mitchell Co. going almost completely red.

 

BRAD SHERMAN

Why do you want to join the SCC?

I want to join the State Central Committee to be a voice working to ensure that the Republican Party of Iowa is honest, fair, and remains republican in its nature.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

The State Central Committee must first and foremost know and maintain the principles and values that make us Republican.  Then we must interface with the county organizations and the people to build up the party on a grass roots level according to republican values. Then we facilitate Republican candidates as they interface with the people in our state helping the people to vet them and be able to vote intelligently. If we do this well, we will have elected officials who serve well.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

•            Have served as a Caucus Chair

•            have served on the State Rules Committee

•            Served as Iowa Chair for The American Renewal Project’s “Stand Up Sunday” voter mobilization effort.

•            Iowa Pastors for Huckabee chair in 2008, as well as working in other campaigns.

•            Presents Restoring the Power Freedom Seminars around the state teaching civic responsibility

•            Chairman and co-founder of Informed Choice of Iowa which operates pro-life Medical Clinics

•            Presented one of the two original petitions to the Iowa legislators and the Governor’s office in support of traditional marriage

•            Initiated the petition that resulted in Governor Branstad’s 2012 proclamation supporting Israel’s right to exist and defend her borders.

 

LORAS SHULTE (current member) 

Why do you want to join the SCC?

My reason for seeking re-election to the State Central Committee is quite simple – As a Party, we have the opportunity to have a historical night on November 4, but only if we keep our eye on the prize and stay united in our opposition to the Liberal Agenda that is destroying our Country, and our Culture, before our very eyes. Yes there are divisions in our Party, but NOT when it comes to the essence of our Beliefs and Principles, rather they are found in the strategies we want to implement and the people we chose to get us there. I believe my political experience and expertise can help overcome these differences, and help set us on a path to victories in the Iowa Legislature, the Governor’s Office and in reclaiming the US Senate Seat that Tom Harkin has occupied since 1984.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

I believe the main job of the SCC is to act as the Board of Directors for the corporate entity known as The Republican Party of Iowa.  That means, it is my job to see that the organization runs smoothly, that our constitution and bylaws are faithfully adhered to, that our Caucuses and Conventions are properly setup and managed, that funds are raised and received from other political entities and that they are expended judiciously and in a legal manner, and finally, that we have the best candidates we can find for Federal, State and Local offices.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

I have a thirty year record of service to the Party, but more importantly than that, my passion for fighting for our Party to adopt, and stand by, a truly Conservative Agenda is confirmed by my lifetime commitment and leadership in the Pro Life movement in Iowa, and a twenty year relationship with Iowans for Tax Relief; and my political expertise is demonstrated by having served as the State Presidential Campaign Director for both Buchanan’s Campaign in 1996 and Bauer’s Campaign in 2000, in addition to my involvement in literally hundreds of State House Races.

 

SECOND DISTRICT (Eight candidates)

BOB ANDERSON (current member)

Why do you want to join the SCC?

I think it’s critically important that we go forward with a responsible conservative agenda in getting our candidates elected for the legislature, for the executive offices and for the congressional seats. I think it’s a time to do that and make a difference and work with our counties and volunteer base to do that.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

The role of any party leader, which would include a SCC member, is to aid the counties and the volunteer base in every way possible to get the message out and do the volunteer staffing that is necessary to achieve those election victories. SCC also has the additional role of working to lay specifics out on events and conventions and to operate as a board to make the overall decisions of the party. So, it’s a combination of that board function, but also working with the counties and volunteer base to the maximum degree so that their efforts have the greatest possible effect in the upcoming election cycles.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

I’ve been involved in every one of the party’s efforts from Reagan forward. That would include all of the presidential campaigns and the local races as well. I’ve also been everything from a precinct chairman to four years as county chairman and I’ve served on both district, state and county rules committees, platform committees. I’ve done everything from precinct to county chairman and everything in between. I was also county chairman of Senator Grassley’s reelection campaign. There’s not much you can list in the party’s dictionary of offices that I haven’t done.

 

TRUDY CAVINESS

Why do you want to join the SCC?

I want to join the State Central Committee to bring effective leadership, energize the grassroots and elect more republicans. To help maintain first in the Nation status for Iowa. Work toward republican majorities in the legislative, and executive branches both statewide and federally.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

My belief is the role of the SCC is to elect republicans.   By supporting and strengthening the county central committees, republican candidates and elected officials and volunteers we can do that.   During the primary Iowa Republicans choose the Republican candidates, it is the responsibility of the SCC to support those candidates.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

I have been Wapello County Central Committee Chair for over 18 years. Working in all phases of campaigns for many years, from envelopes stuffed, raising money, absentee programs to treasurer for local to state races gives me knowledge and experience to help others. I have been a non-paid volunteer in all my activities.  Thank you for the opportunity to share my vision as a State Central Committee Member.

 

BRAD CRANSTON

Why do you want to join the SCC?

To give back to my community.

To expand my efforts of encouraging people to be involved in civics.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

To provide organization and direction for the Party.

To recruit candidates who reflect the Party Platform.

To motivate Party members to be actively involved in campaigning for Party candidates, registering new Party members and getting out the vote.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

I currently:

1. Travel to the Capitol one day each week during the Session to meet, inform, and encourage Republican legislators and promote conservative legislation.

2. Organize groups from across Iowa to come to the Capitol and connect with their legislators on a monthly basis during the Session.

3. Recruit and encourage conservative candidates for to run for political office.

4. Campaign for conservative candidates in all levels of state and federal office.

 

JUDY DAVIDSON

Why do you want to join the SCC?

I want to instill a positive, productive, and proactive approach to the State Central Committee. My passion is working to promote conservative principles through the election of Republican candidates and interacting with the grassroots volunteers in Iowa. I have done that for the past 15 years as a volunteer, precinct leader, Chair of Scott County Republicans, and as Chair of the 2nd Congressional District Executive Committee. I believe these experiences along with my organizational skills will be an asset to Iowa Republicans, our candidates and the State Central Committee. My motivation is simple…work hard to elect Republicans, communicate with and assist the counties, and strengthen the Republican Party of Iowa.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

I believe the role of the SCC is to promote conservative principles by working to elect Republicans in every corner of the state, organize our get-out-the-vote efforts, raise money to support our candidates, and communicate with and assist all of the counties and grassroots volunteers. I have a proven record of these accomplishments in Iowa’s third largest county. To accomplish this, as a State Central Committee member, I will focus on establishing a productive get out the vote program, developing a successful fundraising program and providing consistent communication throughout the district by traveling to all 24 counties and maintaining consistent communication. In the last few weeks, I have traveled to 20 county central committee meetings and events representing 16 different counties in the Second District.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

For the past 15 years, I have volunteered in many capacities to help promote and elect Republican candidates. Currently, I am serving in my 5th year as Chair of the Scott County Republican Party, the third largest county in the state, and have also served as Scott County Secretary and precinct leader. In 2013, I initiated the resurgence of the 2nd District Executive Committee, and was elected its Chair working to improve communication and provide assistance to all 24 counties in the district. I have volunteered at the Straw Poll, was appointed to the 2012 Statewide Caucus Review Committee, and was Chair of the 2012 District Convention Organization Committee. In 2008, I served as Secretary for the District Convention and was a member of the Credentials Committee. I am an active member of the Scott County Republican Women’s Club and have served as their Chaplain and Protocol Chair. In 2012, I was the Event Coordinator for Presidential nominee, Mitt Romney’s most financially successful Iowa fundraiser. I am a gubernatorial appointee to the Seventh Judicial Nominating Commission. I have never worked for any lobbying, special interest group, or PAC.

 

MARK DOLAND (current member)

Why do you want to join the SCC?

I currently serve on the State Central Committee and have enjoyed representing Republicans in Iowa 2nd District. I would be honored to have the opportunity to work to have Iowa’s 2nd district voices heard and represented. That is why I faithfully worked to travel and communicate with the district. It is also my goal to get conservatives across this state elected.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

I believe my role is to represent Republicans living in Iowa’s 2nd District on the state central committee. I also believe it is my role to defend the party platform and the issues Iowa Republicans value as well as work to help elect our candidates to further those values through governing. It is crucial we take back the Iowa Senate in 2014.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

I currently hold public office myself as a county supervisor in Mahaska County, to win I defeated a well known and well funded former Democrat Senator. I have worked and volunteered on quite a few campaigns in my life, including Bob Vander Plaats in 2010 and Michele Bachman in 2012.

 

MARCUS FEDLER (current member)

Why do you want to join the SCC?

I’d like to continue the great strides we’ve made as a party of principle. To rejuvenate our base and bring back those who have left for other parties.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

As our constitution clearly states, the purpose of the organization shall be to conduct the activities of the Republican Party of Iowa, to promote Republican principles and policies and to cooperate and assist in the conduct of national, state and local elections.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

I was the founding member of Free County in Washington County, which helped to elect 3 Republican Supervisors and rescind zoning, to my knowledge the first time this has been done in the United States.  I was Ron Paul’s County Chair in 2008 and 20012.  I sat on platform committee for my county in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Rules Committee in 2014.

 

JEFF KAUFMANN

Why do you want to join the SCC?

I believe we can do better, in fact must do better in fundraising, growing our party, and reinforcing what connects all of us together as Republicans. The leaders of our party must act in accordance of what is best for the party and not a personal interest or promotion of a particular candidate or interest group. I enter this race without a personal axe to grind or issue to promote. I want our Republican party to grow stronger and energized in this State.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

Fundraising to promote the victories of Republicans at every level of government. The State Central Committee is not a clearinghouse for any one candidate or interest group. It should be the vehicle where grassroots Republicans help Republicans get elected to office. It is the job of the State Central Committee to translate the goals, beliefs, and issues of Iowa Republicans to a statewide platform and a party where we expand our “tent” without sacrificing principle. We have several State Central Committee members that are not visiting their county central committees and events. This must change in order to gain grass roots feedback and energy.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

I was a leader in the House for six years (Assistant Minority Leader and then Speaker Pro Tem). I was part of the 2010 campaign that brought 60 House members into the chamber. I have an extensive record of conservative voting, candidate recruitment, voter education, campaign strategizing, and stump speaking for well over 70 Republican candidates at all levels of government. I also raised more than $500,000 during my legislative tenure. This legislative record of fundraising, growing our party, and conservative Republican principles will translate well to being a member of the State Central Committee.

 

JEFF SHIPLEY (current member)

Why do you want to join the SCC?

I want to serve on the SCC to give young people a stake in building our party. As a Republican on the ballot in November, I consider being a part of a victory team that includes Governor Branstad and our US Senate and Congressional nominee the biggest honor of my life.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

I believe the role of the SCC is to elect Republicans to public office and to be outspoken, articulate, advocates for the conservative cause. I am very proud of the SCC and RPI’s activism on Common Core, the Bill of Rights, especially the 2nd and 4th Amendments, and Celebrating Life.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

I’ve worked and volunteered on campaigns and ballot issues from the municipal/county level to presidential nominating contests and I am a tireless advocate for conservative causes. I first became involved in the Republican Party of Iowa as a teenager after being inspired by Ron Paul’s first presidential run in 2008. Now I hope to represent our party and advance our values as an elected representative in the Iowa legislature.

 

THIRD DISTRICT (Six candidates)

MICHAEL DEMASTUS

Why do you want to join the SCC?

As a pastor and long time activist there are Biblical values such as life and marriage that I hold very dear and that the Republican Party has long stood for. It is because of these issues that I am Republican and I want to work with the Party to stand and fight for them.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

I believe my role is to promote the values of the Republican Party platform and assist our candidates who promote these values as well as assist the county parties and make sure they are represented in Des Moines.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

As a pastor I have taught and informed my congregation on why they should vote as well as how they should vote by teaching them a Biblical worldview of government. I have served on the 2012 and 2014 Polk County platform committee, numerous presidential campaigns pastor committees, NICHE, The Family Leader’s Pastors Network, and for numerous local, state, and federal candidates.

 

BRENNA FINDLEY

Why do you want to join the SCC?

I believe we owe it to our conservative ideals to run on a conservative platform, to win and to govern. I want to do all I can to help us win in 2014.  Our state Republican Party has faced a number of challenges, but I want to work to build a robust organization to win in November, and beyond. With an open US Senate seat and an open US House set, it is time to step up and get to work.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

We need a strong and well-funded state party organization focused on electing conservative leaders and defeating liberals whose appetite for big spending, higher taxes and budget deficits knows no bounds.  We have too much at stake for our state and nation to let them win.   I will work to represent the Third District and put our conservative ideals into action.

1) Rebuild the framework so that we can win elections and enact conservative policies;

2) Work to return the focus to fundraising; and

3) Support Republican candidates up and down the ticket.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

I went to my first caucus in Dexter, Iowa, before I was old enough to vote, because I am driven to make a difference. I was 13.  I have volunteered for many candidates.

– Attorney, currently Counsel to Governor Branstad

– Republican nominee for Attorney General 2010

– Former Chief of Staff and Counsel to Rep. Steve King

– Current and longtime county central committee member (Dallas and Guthrie county)

– Active on conservative issues (Pro-life, Second Amendment, etc.)

 

RYAN FREDERICK (current member)

Why do you want to join the SCC?

Our Party represents the the ideals of the American Idea that made this country great. Those ideals are under constant assault from the Left, and – like it or not – the Republican Party is the only political organization out there with the means and intention to defend such basic concepts as the right to life, the rule of law, freedom of religion – even basic property rights, among so much more. This is more important than anyone’s ego or any single political ambition – the future of the country is at stake, and we need a strong Republican Party to lead it.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

We’re a board of directors. I’m no lawyer (I’m closer to “just a farmer from Iowa”), but there’s this word – fiduciary – that describes the responsibility: we’re entrusted with the care and operation of the Party on behalf of all its members and candidates. That’s a tremendous and special responsibility – the volunteers who dedicate hours, days and weeks to advance our cause; the donors who pledge the resources to make it happen; and the candidates who put their lives on hold and reputations on the line deserve the absolute best from the Party that supports them. That means fairness, resourcefulness, motivation, and an organization that puts it all together to make a difference politically.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

Well, I’ve been going to these conventions since 1996, but the first campaign I can ever remember being involved with was one of Clel Baudler’s first campaigns in the late 90s or early 2000s. Since then I don’t think there’s been a cycle I haven’t volunteered or worked for a candidate or the Party. The highlights, though, have to be the summer I spent as a field staffer for Chuck Grassley’s 2010 re-election campaign and the year and a half I spent helping Tom Latham unseat Leonard Boswell. It’s a wonderful feeling, beating Democrats!

 

BILL GUSTOFF

Why do you want to join the SCC?

We are far from the limited government envisioned by our Founding Fathers.  Our party must continue to stand for religious and individual liberty and for a constitutionally limited government.  We need “happy warriors” who can articulate conservative principles in a winsome manner, working with others to unify the party and advance our agenda.  I am one of those happy warriors.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

The SCC serves as the board of directors for the Republican Party of Iowa, vested with the general management and oversight of the affairs of the RPI.  As an attorney who practices largely in nonprofit law, I uniquely understand the fiduciary duties of directors, including how to address conflicts of interest and provide effective oversight to an organization.  Operating under the authority of the RPI Constitution and Bylaws, the SCC helps to conduct the activities of the party, promote Republican principles and policies, and assist in the conduct of elections.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

I have been an active, conservative Republican my entire adult life. My political experience ranges from (i) serving as a page in the Iowa House in 1986, (ii) being elected to my local school board at the age of 18, (iii) interning for Senator Chuck Grassley and Congressman Tom Tauke in Washington, DC, (iv) working as a field staffer for Tom Tauke’s 1990 campaign against Senator Tom Harkin, (v) serving as co-chair of the Linn County Republicans, and (vi) volunteering countless hours for homeschool issues, Second Amendment issues, various candidates, and many other causes. Matt Whitaker, Chris Hagenow, and I formed a law firm in 2009 with a specific goal being a conservative firm that supports constitutionally limited government and serving as a home for like-minded clients. My firm and I put our credibility and reputations on the line every day for conservative causes, organizations, and candidates.

 

JOHN KABITZKE (current member)

Why do you want to join the SCC?

As a member of the current Executive Board, it has been a privilege to serve the party in this role.  I would like to continue to facilitate an atmosphere for the County organizations to grow as we have seen with great attendance and passion at Central Committee meetings in order to elect conservative officials at every level and areas that were once unelectable for Republicans.   Integrity and principle have driven my voting decisions and will continue in the second term.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

My primary role is to disseminate information to the Counties on events/policies impacting them and listening to their concerns.  Most contention arises from misinformation and distrust of motives, so keeping the lines of communication open will continue to my emphasis.  Two important decisions for the next SCC will be whether to hold the Ames straw poll and ensuring the results of the Caucus Straw Poll are timely and accurate.  It is important for the future of the Party to get these correct and receive buy in from every corner of the party.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations? 

I have been active in numerous campaigns and party positions (present Warren County Central Committee Member) through my 30 years of political experience but most recently, State Party Treasurer where we have streamlined wasteful spending and improved efficiencies by eliminating contracts put in place by former SCC, outsourced routine procedures, and developed a cordial relationship with the FEC to get through a 2009/2010 audit we inherited. I’m looking forward to retiring this year from my full time employment to spend more time visiting County organizations and impacting the future with the principles our Party is founded on.

 

SHERILL WHISENAND (current member)

Why do you want to join the SCC?

We must pull together, pressing forward with our organizational, financial and communication efforts. I have proven results of bridging the gap of dissenting views, finding common ground,  recognizing and respecting everyone’s unique contribution of time, talent and treasure.  I am someone who is proven and tested with an historical perspective of political organization to win in 2014. And I work in the trenches.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC? 

The role of the SCC is to be the governing body of the Republican Party of Iowa.  That mission is not in name only.  The SCC members should be expected to steer the ship in the right direction and be held accountable for that mission:  raising money, GOP awareness, electing Republicans to all levels of the tickets and run an efficient and respectful, respectable organization on a daily basis.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

Currently Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee (elected April 14), GOP State Third District Committee member, Co-Chairman Republican Party of Polk County, Polk County Republican Women member and former Republican Party of Iowa State Organization Director; National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and Bush-Quayle ’88 national campaign as a southern states’ communications director; U.S. Presidential Appointee, Department of Veterans Affairs; Alternate Delegate, Republican National Convention; Member, Republican Women Federated, former Iowa State University College Republican President; U.S. Presidential, U.S. Senatorial, U.S. Congressional races in 30 states over 25 years; six Iowa and Arkansas gubernatorial races; California Attorney General’s race campaign manager; legislative, county, local and state races in Iowa, Arkansas, Texas, California and Washington, D.C.  Worked for State Republican Parties of Iowa, Arkansas, Texas and California.

 

FOURTH DISTRICT (Five candidates)

GABE HAUGLAND

Why do you want to join the SCC?

Our party is currently facing a number of great challenges.  As a combat veteran of Afghanistan, as a small-business owner, as an attorney, and as a husband and father who is active in my church and community, I believe I’m uniquely qualified to help navigate our party through these challenges.  We need leaders in our state who are committed to our party platform, committed to building the entire state GOP, and committed to ensuring that we are competitive statewide.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

The SCC is essentially the board of directors of the state GOP. During my current tenure as Chairman of the Cerro Gordo County GOP, I’ve been leading the effort to build party registration and loyalty, working with qualified candidates to represent our constituents, and raising money and spending it responsibly.  But most of all, I have been working to build a robust grassroots organization, utilizing both traditional and new media to mobilize our friends, neighbors, and colleagues.  It’s a work I hope to continue as your representative on the State Central Committee, and I will use my experience as County Chairman to help lead our state party.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations? 

In addition to my current positions of Chairman of the Cerro Gordo County GOP and County Co-Chair of Governor Branstad’s re-election campaign, I have worked on a number of other campaigns.  During the 2012 election, I volunteered for Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s campaign until he ended his bid at which time I took a paid position with Texas Governor Rick Perry’s team as a regional field director in north Iowa, responsible for organizing 20 counties.

 

CODY HOEFERT (current member)

Why do you want to join the SCC?

I want to continue to serve on the SCC in order to continue to advance the ideals of limited government and those values of life and liberty that we in the 4th district hold dear. I want to continue to improve communication. I have done that by calling all chairs and/or co chairs regularly, publishing a quarterly newsletter, regular emails, returning calls and emails in a very timely fashion.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

The role of the SCC is to elect Republicans, support and defend our platform, raise money and help put the necessary structure in place so that our candidates can be successful.

What work have you done as a volunteer/staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

County chair for numerous campaigns: Nussle/Vander Plaats, Rod Roberts for Gov, Brenna Findley for AG, David Jamison for Treasurer, Rick Santorum for President, MIke Huckabee for President, Lyon County “No Wiggins” chair, County Chair for Steve King for Congress, Randy Feenstra for IA Senate, Dwayne Alons for IA House, worked to where all county positions are held by Republicans in Lyon county, Lyon county Rep Chairman 5 years, Lyon county platform chairman, District Rules committee, Alternate Delegate to 2012 national convention, National Field Rep for Rick Santorum for President, Fundraiser for numerous political campaigns raising over $60,000 during 2012 cycle for Iowa Republican candidates, appointed to Judicial nominating committee by Gov. Branstad,

 

JAMIE JOHNSON (current member)

Why do you want to join the SCC?

I am seeking re-election to the SCC to give our party a fresh start, bold vision, and clear mission to achieve electoral victory in our federal, state, and local elections.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

The role of the SCC is to advance the legislative and public policy ideals of the Republican Party by recruiting, training, and electing candidates of moral character and civic competence who will effectively serve in federal, state, and local office. It is also to increase overall membership, participation, and activism, which will strengthen the party for future elections.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations? 

Since being elected to the SCC two years ago, I have logged over 10,000 miles across the 39 counties of the 4th District on behalf of the Republican Party. Since 1984, I have worked on over 40 political campaigns and have knocked on over 100,000 doors for our local, state, and federal candidates. In 2012, I was the state coalitions director for Rick Santorum and now currently serve as the chairman of the Webster County GOP.

 

GARY NYSTROM

Why do you want to join the SCC?

I would like to be elected to the State Central Committee for the following reasons:

A.     We need to get back to the basics of electing strong Conservative Republicans into office.

B.     Our fundraising is in tough shape.  This is vital to our Republican Party and must improve.

C.     We need to unify our party if we have any hope of being successful in electing Republicans.  This includes extending our hand to Independents.

I feel with my background in leadership of being in private business, being a City Councilman, and various other leadership roles that I can offer some help in the above.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

I feel the members of the SCC must demonstrate positive leadership. Good communication to the various counties, getting involved in as much as possible at the local levels, and be willing to educate not only our party members, but the voting public as to what we really stand for as Republicans. A successful organization is always lead by a strong leadership group.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations? 

I have worked on various campaigns.  They include everything from our local supervisor races, to helping elect Jerry Behn as State Senator, Chip Baltimore as State Representative, Governor Terry Branstad, several other State officers, U.S. Representative Steve King, and various Presidential Candidates including Mitt Romney in the past election. I am currently serving as Co-Chair of the Boone County Central Committee.  Previous to this I was an active member of the Central committee.  \I have been involved in many County Republican functions as well as District and State Republican Conventions.

 

JOHN WACKER

Why do you want to join the SCC?

To help and serve County Central Committees and get conservatives elected on the   county, state, and national levels.

What do you believe is the role of the SCC?

To help elect candidates that uphold the party platform and serve County Central  Committees.

What work have you done as a volunteer or staffer for Republican and conservative candidates/causes/organizations?

I was on Iowa Senator Dennis Guth campaign team. Start the Common Sense           PAC. Promote traditional marriage in parades across the state.


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 TheIowaRepublican.com.




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