A newly-retired federal prosecutor today (Friday) announced he’s running to be Iowa’s next Secretary of State. Republican Robert Dopf of Urbandale held a statehouse news conference to kick off his campaign. “On February 28th of this year I retired from the Department of Justice,” Dopf says. “They say while retirement closes some doors, it opens others.” Dopf was a federal prosecutor for 23 years.

For the past six years, he was the federal elections officer for the southern half of Iowa. “In that capacity, I was responsible for monitoring elections for any signs of fraud and abuse,” Dopf says. Dopf says if elected, he’ll work to curb the growing use of absentee ballots and early voting. “We have a long and proud tradition in Iowa of fair and honest elections,” he says. “I will work tirelessly to maintain that tradition.” He says the tradition, though, is endangered by early voting.

Nearly one-third of the Iowa votes cast in the last election were cast before election day. “If we continue on this path it will inevitably lead to fraud and abuse,” Dopf says. “I accordingly will be seeking to reign in the use of absentee ballots to ensure that they are used in the most appropriate of situations rather than used as a means by some individuals or interest groups to attempt to obtain a partisan political advantage.”

Dopf’s campaign materials state that he has muscular dystrophy and for the past few years he has used a scooter to remain mobile. He sat in his scooter as he conducted today’s news conference. Dopf will face Des Moines podiatrist Chuck Allison in June’s G-O-P primary.