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January 8th, 2014

Schultz’s Congressional Run Makes Republicans Scramble to Find a Secretary of State Candidate

Secretary of State Matt Schultz sent out a media advisory late Tuesday afternoon to alert the media of a press conference he will hold on Thursday morning at the Council Bluffs City call.  While the release simply states that Schultz will make an announcement regarding the Third District Congressional race, everything from the location to the press riser and podium indicates that he will be throwing his hat into the ring.

Schultz seriously considered running for the U.S. Senate after Congressman Tom Latham and Congressman Steve King passed on the opportunity.  While he passed on that opportunity, the open Third District Congressional seat is apparently too enticing of an opportunity to pass up.

With Schultz running for Congress, the Secretary of State’s office is will now be open. Democrat Brad Anderson, who has been running for the office for a year now, has a leg up on whomever his Republican opponent ends up being.  It’s now incumbent on Republicans to find a formidable candidate to enter the race in short order.

Had State Auditor Dave Vaudt not resigned his position this spring, Mary Mosiman, the former Story County Auditor and Deputy Secretary of State under Schultz, would have been an obvious successor.  With Mosiman seeking election as Iowa’s State Auditor, Republicans must now get a littler creative in finding a candidate.

A number of legislators have indicated interest in running for the open U.S. Senate and congressional seats, but when the rubber meets the road, most of them have opted against seeking higher office.  One legislator, freshman State Representative Rob Taylor is supposedly interested in running for the office, yet seeking statewide office after only being a legislator for one year might be stretch.

Former State Representative Rod Roberts has indicated an interest in running for the U.S. Senate, but perhaps the open Secretary of State’s office might be appealing to him.  Roberts may struggle to find footing in the U.S. Senate race, but he would be the odds on favorite in a primary should he seek the nomination for Secretary of State.

Having run for statewide office before is clear advantage, but the goodwill Roberts earned by running a positive campaign and displaying a lot of class at the Republican state convention that followed the contentious gubernatorial primary has not been forgotten.  Beyond that, Robert showed in the 2010 gubernatorial primary that, not only did primary voters generally like him across the state, he also has the ability to raise the type of money it will take to run for Secretary of State.

Another name that is often associated with various races is former Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate.  Having done the job before, Pate would be able to make a strong case against Anderson, but Pate has flirted with running for office a number of times, only to ultimately opt against it.  If Pate is interested in seeking public office again, this is the perfect opportunity to do so.

Schultz’s decision to run for Congress means that Republicans are now scrambling to find a Secretary of State candidate.  While that’s not exactly what Republicans thought they would be doing in the January of an election year, if they are able to recruit a good candidate, they should be able to hold the seat against a Anderson, who’s background is working on political campaigns.

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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