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June 21st, 2014

Shocker: David Young wins GOP Nomination on Fifth Ballot (VIDEO ADDED)

URBANDALE – The fifth place finisher in the GOP primary emerged victorious at a special nominating convention of Third Congressional District delegates on Saturday. David Young, the former chief of staff for Senator Chuck Grassley, emerged victorious on the fifth ballot.

It came down to just two candidates, from a field of six, with the winner needing at least 50 percent, plus one delegate, to emerge victorious. Brad Zaun, who finished first in the primary balloting, was the top vote getter throughout the day until the final round.

David Young placed fourth on the first and second ballots at the convention. The turning point came after the third ballot. Young placed third, eliminating Matt Schultz. The Iowa secretary of state then endorsed Young, helping him surpass Monte Shaw for second place on the fourth ballot and eventually winning on the fifth.

The final vote tally was: Young-276, Zaun-221. It appears that well over 2/3 of Monte Shaw’s supporters switched to David Young on the final ballot.

Below is video of the final roll call, with Polk County being the most significant one, plus Young’s acceptance speech, and TIR’s live blog:

Good morning and welcome to’s live blog of the Third Congressional District special nominating convention. We are at Des Moines Christian School in Urbandale for what is sure to be a fascinating, and probably long, day.

We are here because none of the six candidates achieved 35 percent of the vote in the June 3 primary. Brad Zaun was the top vote getter at 24%.

The convention commences at 10 am. Stay here for all the info on what to expect today. Remember to hit ‘REFRESH’ often.

9:26 AM – The sign war on Douglas Parkway headed here is crazy. The Cramer campaign filled up the median with tons of yard signs. It’s illegal to put signs in the median, but made for a nice visual. All the campaigns went all out in the sign war effort on school property. And the sidewalk leading into the building and lobby is a veritable mine field of supporters with attack literature, stickers and other propaganda.

9:29 AM – My prediction: As I said earlier, a long day. I believe Monte Shaw will get the most votes on the first ballot, with Brad Zaun a close second. I don’t know if Shaw will have enough votes among the 513 delegates to surpass 50% + 1. That’s the threshold to win it and face liberal Staci Appel in the general election.

9:38 AM – Here’s how this thing works: Each candidate has to be nominated from the floor. It is completely open, so people who did not even run in the primary, can be nominated. Nominating speeches are up to two minutes. Then a person can “second” the nomination, and deliver up to a one minute speech.

The candidates will then have up to six minutes to deliver their speeches. Then, we vote on paper ballots. The counting process will take quite a bit of time (30 minutes or so, probably).

No one is eliminated on the first ballot (which is pointless and dumb), but that’s how it goes. Then we go to a second ballot, assuming no one surpass 50% +1. After that, the bottom vote getter is eliminated. My guess is we will break for lunch after the second ballot.

The campaigns of Governor Branstad, Congressman King and Congressman Latham (whose seat we’re filling due to his retirement) are buying lunch for all the delegates. For that, we are most grateful.

9:45 AM – Earlier this week, delegate Isaiah McGee referred to this as our version of “Game of Thrones”. Very apt analogy. Except no one here has swords. And hopefully, no nudity.

9:47 AM – So, credentialing was supposed to end at 9:45. So all delegates should be in the building and have the proper credentials by now. Then they start sorting through the alternates to see who gets seated. The total number is 513. I’m curious to see if we get that money. My guess is it will be close.

9:50 AM -TIR editor-in-chief Craig Robinson has determined we are setting the over/under at: FIVE ROUNDS. Call your bookie.

9:54 AM – Six minutes until convening time. My guess is that will be a little delayed as everyone works their way in. It usual is. The gym here is filling up, though.

9:56 AM – There was some talk this week about an effort to recall the State Central Committee members we elected at the district convention in April. A few people are upset because they have called for a new election for Republican Party of Iowa chairman. Any effort to recall is a dumb idea, likely out of order and would be overwhelmingly rejected anyway.

9:58 AM – Whoever emerges victorious will need to work hard to unite all Third District Republicans behind him. I can’t imagine having ultra-liberal Staci Appel as my representative in Congress. I’d rather go back to the Leonard Boswell days.

9:59 AM – I’m seeing a lot of faces here that I don’t recall seeing at the district convention in April For all the talk about how we shouldn’t ask delegates to give up two straight Saturdays, it looks like we have pretty high turnout here today. We’ll see after the credentials report.

10:00 AM – It’s time….

10:02 AM We will start in one minute, we were just informed.

10:03 AM – And here we go. State Sen. Charles Schneider calls the convention to order.

10:08 AM – Prayer, pledge and national anthem are done. We start with a speech from Congressman Tom Latham, who gets a big standing ovation.

10:09 AM – Latham: “We need people in Washington who will stand up and fight for our principles. We’ve seen what has happened with President Obama …. Whether they win or lose today. Please congratulate everyone of them for stepping up. I can assure you from experience that what they’re doing is not easy. What they’re families go through is even harder…”

10:11 AM – Latham: “Whoever wins today, I assure you, they’re going to be 80% better than the liberal they’re going against.” (BIG APPLAUSE)

10:12 AM – RPI Chairman Danny Carroll speaking now. He got a standing O from maybe 40% of the delegates.

10:14 AM – Carroll: “If you’re here to try to impress everybody with your knowledge of parliamentary procedure, we suggest you find another venue.” AMEN.

10:18 AM – The Register is reporting that the Democrat State Convention has: 353 delegates. That’s it. Pathetic. We had more than 1,400 last week and there will be more than 353 here today for just the Third District.

10:20 AM – Carroll gave a good rundown of the procedures we’ll go thru to help keep this orderly. Sen. Schneider said he will do everything possible as convention chair to keep us focused on the task at hand. BTW, they’ve recruited several sergeants-at-arms from around the state to help keep things orderly.

10:21 AM – Congressman Steve King speaking now.

10:22 AM – King: “I am actually the only person that has survived an Iowa congressional nominating convention…” That was in 2002. He won on the third ballot.

10:23 AM – King mentioned how people came together behind him after he won and says we need to do that here with whoever wins.

10:25 AM – They are trying to throw out the Democrat tracker. They should just let him stay. It’s a public event.

10:26 AM – Credentials report: Out of 513 delegates, we have 512, says credentials Chairman Rich Anderson, a former state rep. So we have significantly more delegates than the Democrats have at their state convention.

10:29 AM – Here’s running down the county-by-county breakdown. A delegate near me mentioned Rich would be very good at running bingo, based on how here’s reading these off. Funny, but you’d have to be here to get it.

10:31 AM – Dallas County, 47 out of 57 delegates are here. The remaining seats will be filled by alternates. Polk County has 263 delegates. 196 are present, so we have 67 alternates.

10:32 AM – Wait, there’s a problem with the Polk numbers… We actually have 47, not 67, alternates in Polk. Let the grumbling commence…

10:35 AM – Now it’s time for nominations…

10:36 AM – Candidates who wish to withdraw will have up to three minutes to address the convention.

10:37 AM – Nominating speeches are two minutes. Dr. Christi Taylor from Dallas County nominates Matt Schultz.

10:39 AM – State Sen. Jake Chapman seconds the Schultz nomination.

10:40 AM – State Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa nominates David Young.

10:42 AM – I didn’t catch the name of the gentleman who seconded him.

10:43 AM – Former State Rep. Carmine Boal nominates Monte Shaw.

10:45 AM – Jon King, Congressman Steve King’s brother, seconds the Schultz nomination.

10:46 AM – Joe Grandanette nominates himself. Good grief.

10:48 AM – Mr. G says he wants to touch my soul. Again. I’d rather he didn’t.

10:49 AM – Sarah Brooks from Polk County seconds Mr. G’s nomination.

10:50 AM – Lori Jungling from Polk County, a longtime supporter of The Family Leader organization, nominates Robert Cramer.

10:52 AM – Victoria Bustamante seconds the Cramer nomination.

10:53 AM – State Sen. Jack Whitver nominates Brad Zaun. Polk County volunteer Gloria Mazza is standing by to provide the second.

10:56 AM – And thankfully, that concludes the nominations. So it’s only the six gentlemen who ran in the primary. And there was much rejoicing.

10:57 AM – Final credentials report: We have 513 out of 513 slots. Well done. Again, Democrats have 353 at their state convention.

10:58 AM – Matt Schultz is up first for candidate speeches. Brings his family onstage with him.

10:59 AM – Schultz: “We need someone who’s going to stop Washington… There’s a lot of good people running. We need someone who’s going to do what they say they’re going to do. I’ve done it…”

11:00 AM – Schultz: “As your secretary of state, you know me. I’m not afraid of a good fight… I’m proud to say I’m the only candidate who’s been sued by the ACLU. We need a conservative who will stand up and fight…. The fact is, the liberals in the media and the Democrats are terrified of me…”

11:01 AM – Schultz mentions the Democrat operative who tried to steal his identity and the recent criticisms of him. He notes that he reduced the size of government in his office and returned $200,000 to the state. “We need someone who will stand up and fight…”

11:02 AM – Schultz: “We’ve got to stop spending politicians to Washington who work for themselves instead of Washington… Raise your hands: How many are glad Barack Obama has term limits?” All of us.

11:04 AM – Schultz is fired up. Mentions the endorsements of Rick Santorum, Tea Party Express, Senator Mike Lee, etc. “Because I’m a conservative and I will go and fight. I’m asking for your vote. Let’s bring this party together….”

11:06 AM – David Young up now. They’re speaking in the order they were nominated. Smart of Brad Zaun’s folks to go last.

11:07 AM – Young mentions his time in Sen. Grassley’s office as chief of staff. Brings up Fast and Furious, the latest in the IRS scandal. “I’ve fought this battle and I know how to win it.”

11:08 AM – Young: “I’ve seen Washington up close but I’ve always kept an outside Iowa perspective… I’ve seen the face of Big Gonvernment…

11:09 AM – Young mentions political celebrities. “Let’s face it, Washington, D.C. is Hollywood for ugly people.”

11:10 AM – Young talks about a woman in Fremont County he met while door knocking. She is raising her great-grandchildren, who were meth babies.  … “It’s not impossible to stand up for traditional values and defend our religious freedoms… Staci Appel and her liberal friends think Big Government and more spending is the solution to our problems. I believe Big Government and more spending is the problem… “

11:12 AM – Monte Shaw up now. His wife, daughter and young son are on the stage with him.

11:13 AM – Shaw: “I’m usually sitting where you’re sitting. I’ve not spent the last 20 years running for political office. I’ve helped candidates get elected…. No matter what happens today, I will be working with you, side-by-side, to help elect Republicans up and down the ballot…”

11:14 AM – Shaw: “It’s not good enough, hey, I voted right but the country went over the cliff. We need a candidate who can roll up their sleeves and get things done… “

11:16 AM – Shaw says we need to put forward the strongest possible candidate. “It’s important for us not to provide the liberals a candidate that will be an easy target…”

11:17 AM – Shaw: “We need a candidate who can unite Republicans and attract independents.” Notes that Obama won the Third District in 2012.

11:18 AM – Shaw: “Can you believe Staci Appel claims she’s the candidate who is for the middle class? She couldn’t find the middle class with a  GPS and two-week head start.”

11:19 AM – Shaw is done. Joe Grandanette up now. And there’s a mass exodus to the restroom. No, I’m not kidding.

11:20 AM – Grandanette says he will bring diversity to the Republican Party. Yes, a crusty old white man will bring diversity to the GOP.

11:21 AM – Grandanette: “I’ve touched the young people in my classroom.” Please, make it stop.

11:22 AM – I will give him credit for his passion. I won’t give credit to the geniuses on the Rules Committee who decided no one should be eliminated after the first ballot. Dumb, dumb, dumb idea. Pointless.

11:25 AM – Robert Cramer up now.

11:26 AM – Cramer starts with a pretty good joke about how he got into the race. Too long to recite, but it went over pretty well.

11:27 AM – Cramer: “My foundation is built on a constitutional worldview and a Biblical worldview… I’m the business owner and conservative who will fight for life, for marriage, for a balanced budget …”

11:30 AM – Cramer mentions how Reagan reached out to all stripes of voters without changing who he was. Cramer says he will be that type of candidate.

11:31 AM – Cramer notes how we need to nominate someone who has the resources to win. A veiled shot at Brad Zaun who has struggled with fundraising.

11:32 AM – Zaun up now with his family onstage. He also received the loudest applause.

11:33 AM – Zaun talks about door knocking in the district. Telling stories about door knocking, including going to the wrong house and chasing after a poodle that got loose. Funny stuff.

11:34 AM – Zaun praises the entire field. He has remained positive throughout the campaign. The attacks from others have really gotten nasty the last three weeks since the primary ended.

11:35 AM – Zaun talking about his upbringing, running a hardware store in Urbandale, being the chamber president, serving on the city council and then mayor of Urbandale.

11:37 AM – Zaun says some consider him controversial. “I do the right thing…” He had some other good stuff that just got lost because the wi-fi in here is running slow.

11:39 AM – Zaun reminded delegates that he finished first on June 3. That was smart.

11:40 AM – Speeches are done. We will begin voting momentarily.

11:56 AM – So, 16 minutes after ballots starting getting handed out, my row finally got ours. This is going to take forever…

11:58 AM – My prediction earlier that Shaw would get the most votes might be off. I think Brad Zaun has a lot of support in this room. They will be the top two on the first ballot. Not sure which order, though.

12:08 PM – Still counting votes. Methinks this will take some time, although they just asked everyone to take their seats to begin the roll call, meaning they’ll announce county-by-county.

12:20 PM – First vote: Schultz 95, Young 86, Shaw 118, Grandanette 7, Cramer 75, Zaun 130.

12:22 PM – No one close to 50% +1, so we go to a second ballot. The first ballot bodes very well for Brad Zaun, I think.

13:30 PM – Robert Cramer placed second on primary night, but fifth in the first round. It looks like, as expected, this will be between Zaun and Shaw. Most of Zaun’s votes came from Polk County (82). Only nine votes in Dallas County for Zaun, which surprised me a bit.

12:32 PM – Now doing the second round of speeches. Three minutes each.

12:35 PM – Second round speeches: Shaw mentioned that he was the only one who had votes from every county. Says we need to elect “a consensus candidate”.

12:36 PM – Zaun says he’s the only candidate who’s been vetted. Talks about how he’s run a clean campaign this time. Mentions Reagan’s 11th Amendment, not talking bad about another Republican.

12:37 PM – Zaun is railing against Obama. Says the president has blood on his hands and what he’s done is much worse than Richard Nixon. Zaun says he’s battle tested. “I promise you I will not be outworked… I have debated (Appel) on the senate floor and she makes Tom Harkin looks like a conservative.”

12:39 PM – Second round of voting. Check back in a little while. I’m gonna stretch my legs, and back…

12:55 PM – We are ready for the second round of voting to be announced… I don’t expect a whole lot to change from the first round. Certainly not enough for anyone to win.

1:00 PM – Some key counties:

Dallas: Schultz 21, Young 10, Shaw 15, Cramer 2, Zaun 9

Polk: Schultz: 33, Young 32, Shaw 56, Grandanette 1, Cramer 41, Zaun 97 (picked up 15 more votes).

Warren: Schultz 3, Young 5, Shaw 10, Grandanette 1, Cramer 2, Zaun 15

TOTALS: Schultz 88, Young 81, Shaw 122, Grandanette 2, Cramer 60, Zaun 157.

1:02: Zaun picked up 27 from the first votes. He is moving closer. Grandanette is eliminated. Lunch time. See you in an hour or so.

1:55 BIG NEWS: Sources tell me Robert Cramer will drop out before the third ballot. He will not endorse, however, so we’ll have to see where his delegates go. I expect a split, with most going to Zaun and Schultz.

1:57 It’s official. Cramer drops out. Gets a standing ovation from the delegates. He asks them to select “the best candidate”.

1:59 Cramer praises the process, his staff and volunteers. Says he knows our nominee will be a better representative than Staci Appel.

2:01 David Young up next. He mentions he and Cramer became best friends and neighbors when they were young, clearly making a move to win over those delegates.

2:04 Good speech by Young. Schultz up now. Starts by praising Cramer.

2:06 Schultz is tailoring his speech toward the social conservatives that support Cramer. Talks about family, life, traditional marriage. Smart.

2:07 Schultz: “Make no mistake. There’s no candidate that has been more vetted than me… We need a conservative who can fight and win… I’m the only candidate who beat a statewide Democrat incumbent … “

2:08 Monte Shaw up now. Mentions the candidates are all similar on the issues. Talks about the little South Korean boy they adopted.

2:09 BTW, I threw my back out and was literally lying down on the dirty convention floor a few minutes ago. Now back up in the chair, but in pain. So, this live blog might be below par for the rest of the way…

2:10 Shaw talks about the important of winning over independents this fall. “I honestly think I’m the strongest candidate to do that…”

2:11 Zaun is the first candidate to recognize Joe Grandanette. He praises Mr G and Robert Cramer. Smart. Every vote counts and Mr.  G is a delegate.

2:12 Zaun talks about losing his cool on the Iowa Senate floor when trying to pass a late term abortion ban. Brings up shutting down the Department of Education and how he was for it “before it was cool”. … “The people we elect to the school boards are the right people to make those decisions…”

2:14 Zaun nentions traffic cams and the Second Amendment as well. This is stuff out of Zaun’s standard stump speech, but the first time he’s used it today. Big cheers when he wraps up.

2:15 Voting time again… I expect Brad Zaun to inch pretty close to the 50% mark, but might not get there yet. I believe it’s his to lose though.

2:28 Major county vote totals on the third ballot coming… Polk County will be the key one. 40 of Cramer’s 60 supporters were in Polk County. I expect most of them to go to Zaun …

2:30 Roll call:

Adair: Schultz 1, Shaw 4, Young 1

Adams: Shaw 2, Schultz 1

Cass: Schultz 4, Shaw 1, Young 7

Dallas: Schultz 18, Shaw 15, Young 13, Zaun 10

Fremont: Schultz 1, Shaw 2, Young 1, Zaun 1

Guthrie: Shaw 5, Young 2, Zaun 2

Madison: Schultz 5, Shaw 2, Young 2, Zaun 4

Mills: Shaw 5, Young 3, Zaun 4

Montgomery: Shaw 2, Young 2, Zaun 4

Page: Schultz 1, Shaw 4, Zaun 7

Polk: 11 no votes, Schultz 33, Shaw 57, Young 47, Zaun 115 (yep, it jumped up big for Zaun)

Pott: Schultz 14, Shaw 7, Young, Zaun 21

Ringgold: Shaw 3, Zaun 1

Taylor: 2 Schultz, 2 Shaw, Zaun 1

Union: Young 2, Shaw 6

Warren: Schultz: 5, Shaw 10, Young 4, Zaun 17

Schultz: 85

Shaw: 126

Young: 102

Zaun: 188.

Matt Schultz is eliminated.

2:50. Having major wifi issues here.

2:51 Schultz dropped out and endorsed David Young. That could swing some votes Young’s way. Brad Zaun praised Schultz, calling him “the best secretary of state in Iowa history”.

2:55 They are now counting our fourth ballot. I’m betting we’ll go to a fifth, but Zaun keeps getting closer. Young could gain ground on Shaw, as well.

2:57 Matt Schultz got a huge standing ovation, btw. Had to be an emotional moment for him. Sorry Democrats, but his political career is far from ever. Schultz will be back.


Fourth ballot roll call by county

Adair: Shaw 4, Young 2

Adams: Shaw 2, Zaun 1

Cass: Shaw 1, Young 8, Zaun 3

Dallas: Shaw 14, Young 29, Zaun 11

Fremont: Shaw 2, Young 1, Zaun 2

Guthrie: Shaw 5, Young 2, Zaun 2

Madison: Shaw 2, Young 7, Zaun 4

Mills: Shaw 5, Young 3, Zaun 4

Montgomery: Shaw 1, Young 2, Zaun 5

Page: Shaw 4, Young 2, Zaun 4

Polk: Shaw 51, Young 80, Zaun 121

Pottawattamie: Shaw 8, Young 24, Zaun 28

Ringgold: Shaw 1, Young 2, Zaun 1

Union: Young 3, Shaw 5

Warren: Shaw 14, Young 6, Zaun 16


Monte Shaw is eliminated.

3:10 So it’s between David Young and Brad Zaun. Quite honestly, David Young has a shot to win this thing. Everyone likes him. He hasn’t been negative at all. Here’s only 35 votes behind Zaun.

3:11 Here it is. Fifth ballot. I think this is going to be very, very close. I know David Young was the second choice for a lot of Shaw people.

3:27 I think we’re about to have a major surprise… Roll call coming right now.. .The big key is Polk County:

3:31 POLK COUNTY SPLITS 126-126. DEAD EVEN. They’ve been carrying Zaun throughout.

3:32 DAVID YOUNG, the fifth place finisher in the primary, is the GOP nominee for the Third District! Remarkable upset and a war of attrition.

3:35 David Young tells the delegates he has one more magic trick: “Making Staci Appel disappear in November.” Standing ovation for the GOP nominee.

3:36  What an amazing upset and remarkable day in Iowa politics. I will see you tomorrow morning in Kevin’s Korner.

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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