The Republican who will return as Iowa’s secretary of state after a 16 year absence is assembling his staff, and has named the two women who will head his “election team.” Iowa’s secretary of state is the state’s commissioner of elections and is responsible for handling voter registration.
Secretary of State-elect Paul Pate has asked Carol Olson, who served as his deputy in the late 1990s, to return and take the same job as deputy in charge of elections. In addition, Pate has hired Marshall County Auditor Dawn Williams to serve as “Elections Director.”
Pate cites the experience Williams has had in being in charge of election administration at the county level. Williams also is the current president of the National Election Center’s Professional Education Board and she is the current district president for the Iowa State Association of County Auditors.
Olson, the woman who worked as a chief deputy for Pate before, worked on Senator Grassley’s staff in Washington, D.C. She was also staff director in Des Moines for Republicans in the state senate.
Pate has also announced he will keep staffers in the office who have served all three of the previous secretaries of state, two of whom were Democrats. In a prepared statement, Pate says that will “ensure that his administration is committed to fair and nonpartisan election management.”
Pate served in the Iowa House and Senate before being elected to one term as Iowa’s secretary of state in 1994. After an unsuccessful bid for governor in 1998, Pate served as mayor of Cedar Rapids for four years, from 2002 ’til 2006. Pate won another term as Iowa’s secretary of state this past November.