Former Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate plans to run for the job again.
“Iowa is a great state and our election system is very important and I think I can offer a lot to help protect it and to participate in it,” Pate told Radio Iowa today.
Pate, a Republican, announced his intentions as current Secretary of State Matt Schultz declared himself a candidate for congress. Pate served one term as secretary of state, in the last 1990s, before an unsuccessful 1998 bid for governor. Pate, who is 55 years old, said he thought his career in public service had ended after his four years as mayor of Cedar Rapids, but he’s not planning to run for anything other than secretary of state.
“I have no other ambitions than to serve the public as secretary of state and commissioner of elections,” Pate said. “This is not any agenda. It’s strictly to serve the public and I’m someone who believes you have to give back.”
Pate said he has the experience to “hit the ground running” and he would take a “non-partisan approach” to the job.
“Having been president of the Iowa League of Cities which is a non-partisan group dealing with over 800 cities — you know, there are all parties involved — and as the mayor of a city that was, again, non-partisan, it isn’t about what label you wear,” Pate said. “Our elections are very important and the law is the law and we need to make sure we do what we can to encourage people to participate and protect their rights.”
Current Secretary of State Matt Schultz has sparked controversy by hiring a state D-C-I agent to investigate cases of alleged voter fraud. If elected, Pate will review the project.
“I would take a hard look at how we could do that most effectively in respect to protecting the voter registration rolls,” Pate said. “Whether it’s working with DCI or working with the attorney general’s office here in Iowa or working with the county auditors, it would be my responsibility and job to make sure we do that. When I was secretary of state before we did that. We worked very closely on those issues and I worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office on pursuing people who were, perhaps, doing voter fraud.”
Pate, who served six years in the Iowa legislature from 1989-1995 and as Cedar Rapids mayor from 2002-2006, owns an asphalt paving company in Cedar Rapids. Brad Anderson, manager of President Obama’s 2012 reelection effort in Iowa, is the only Democrat running for secretary of state in 2014.