(Des Moines, IA) Iowa Reform party members are concerned their state convention will be overrun by the “Buchanan Brigade” on Saturday.
“We have received word that a number of people that are related to the Pat Buchanan group are planning on coming Saturday,” said Jim Hennager, the Iowa Reform Party’s gubernatorial candidate in 1998.
Hennager said Buchanan supporters are welcome, as are supporters of other potential Reform Party nominees and party leaders. Minnesota’s Lieutenant Governor will address the Iowa convention on behalf of Jesse Ventura, but Hennager said Donald Trump has no representatives in the state yet.
“We have some concerns that the Pat Buchanan people have expressed an interest in basically raiding our Iowa reform group to get national delegates, so we’re going to have a contest on that if that’s their intention,” Hennager said.
According to Hennager and other Iowa Reform party activists, the party’s state constitution is written to prevent that sort of insurgent campaign. Only those who registered to vote as a member of the Reform Party can have a role in party decisions, according to Hennager.
“(Buchanan’s supporters) are welcome to attend and we want to listen to whatever their issues are, but the Iowa constitution is written in such as way to prevent somebody just coming in en mass and raiding our group,” he said.
Hennager expects lawyers to attend the meeting on Buchanan’s behalf to challenge the Reform party rules.
About 1,500 Iowans voted for Reform Party candidates in the past election. The group’s leaders are mulling the idea of a statewide meeting on January 24, 2000, the same day Republicans and Democrats in Iowa will stage their Caucuses, to give Reform Party members in Iowa a chance to cast strawpoll ballots for the presidential candidate of their choice.