Governor Terry Branstad made a successful political comeback in 2010. Now, former Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate is attempting to do the same. Pate announced his candidacy for the soon-to-be vacant Secretary of State’s office on Thursday morning.
From 1995 to 1999, Pate served as Iowa’s Secretary of State. Before that, he served in the Iowa State Senate, where he represented parts of Linn, Buchanan and Delaware Counties from 1989-1995. Pate left the Secretary of State’s office after one term when he sought the Republican nomination for governor in 2000. Most recently, Pate served as the mayor of Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s second largest city, from 2002 to 2006.
Pate’s strength in running for the Secretary of State’s office is obvious – he knows exactly what the job entails because he’s done it before. Beyond that, hailing from the second largest county in the state not only benefits him in a primary, but could help Republicans on the statewide ballot in the general election should he be the Republican nominee.
As the statewide ballot stands today, there is only one candidate on ballot from east of Polk County, Bruce Braley, who lives in Black Hawk County. Governor Branstad lives in Guthrie County, Mary Mosiman is from Story County, Bill Northey is from Dickenson County, and the four Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate are from either Polk County or Western Iowa.
Pate’s ability to help the Republican ticket is attractive, but so too is anther another advantage he brings to the race. If Pate is the Republican nominee, the main argument Anderson and the Democrats have been making against Schultz is now worthless. The fact that Pate has held the office before also allows him to talk about what he did as Secretary of State, not what his predecessor did while in office.
Pate’s attempt to return to the Secretary of State’s office is very similar to Branstad’s return to elected office. The only difference is that Branstad was running against an incumbent Democrat while Pate will be running for an open seat. Still, the media and Democrats have spent the last three years critiquing and attacking Schultz and the job he has done as Secretary of State.
While it was never their intention, their tactics helped pave the way for Pate’s return. Just as was the case for Branstad, there is a sense that what is needed is competent and trusted leadership in the office. When given the chance to chose, most Iowans are going to pick the candidate who has done the job before, not a political hack whose last job was on a presidential campaign.
Below is the Pate for Secretary of State Press Release
PATE MAKES SECRETARY OF STATE BID
Former Iowa Secretary of State and Mayor of Cedar Rapids Announces Candidacy
(Cedar Rapids, IA) Today, former Iowa Secretary of State and Mayor of Cedar Rapids, Paul D. Pate announced his intention to win the Republican nomination for Iowa Secretary of State in 2014.
“With Secretary Matt Schultz’s announced run for U.S. Congress, Iowa needs another proven leader who will protect their election process and serve the business community without political motives. Iowans do not want nor can they afford to have the office of chief elections commissioner for the state occupied by a partisan political operative from either party. I have served the people of Iowa as Secretary of State and hold the experience to continue Secretary Schultz’s good stewardship of the office,” stated Pate.
A nationally recognized small business leader by the Small Business Administration, Pate is the President of Pate Asphalt Systems in Marion and recently served as Mayor of Cedar Rapids from 2002 –2006. While Mayor, Pate was elected President of the non-partisan Iowa League of Cities representing over 870 municipalities. Previously, he served as Iowa Secretary of State from 1995-1999 and represented NE Cedar Rapids, Marion and parts of Linn, Buchanan and Delaware Counties in the Iowa Senate from 1989-1995.
“I am proud to have the support of so many friends and family as we make this run together for the good of our state,” said Pate.
Pate and his wife Jane of 35 years are the parents of three adult children and five grandchildren.
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