A former state legislator who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2008 plans to run for a statewide office in 2010.
George Eichhorn of Stratford is an attorney who served in the Iowa House for six years, losing his reelection bid in 2006. He’ll be a Republican candidate for Secretary of State in 2010.
“I think everybody’s aware that elections matter and who you have in a particular position is pretty critical for where we’re going in the future,” Eichhorn says. “When I look at the secretary of state’s office, you know, I think that people want to have that job done responsibly and they want to make sure that their taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. Unfortunately I think we have some problems in that office and I think we need to correct them.”
Eichhorn cites an audit which raised questions about how former Secretary of State Chet Culver — the state’s current governor — spent federal money allocated under the “Help America Vote Act.”
“It clearly looks like there was money that was misspent by the secretary of state’s office and unfortunately the interest is being accrued during this term and now we are paying the consequences for it,” Eichhorn says. “And somebody should have done something about that quite some time ago.”
The current Secretary of State, Democrat Michael Mauro, says he had no role in making the spending decisions Culver made as secretary of state and the interest payment Eichhorn mentioned is for spending Culver authorized. Mauro intends to seek reelection in 2010.
Eichhorn spoke with Pat Powers of KQWC Radio in Webster City this week and during the interview Eichhorn said he’d seek greater “security” to ensure the ballots that are cast are from legitimate voters.
“In election laws, we’ve made monumental changes under the Democrats in the last few years and we need to make sure that our laws are both fair and that people trust them and there’s a big concern right now,” Eichhorn said. “Do we have the right access? Do we have the right security for our voting to make sure that those that are truly elected are the people who are, ultimately, serving us?”
Republicans unsuccessfully sought a requirement that voters present a photo I.D. to help prove their eligibility to vote as part of the state’s new law that lets eligible Iowans register to vote at their polling place, on the day of the election.
Eichhorn lost the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in 2008 by about 600 votes — out of the more than 85,000 that were cast in the three-way race, but he did not ask for a recount. Eichhorn faces a Republican primary as Council Bluffs City Councilman Matt Schultz said this summer he will likely seek the Republican nomination for Secretary of State.