The chairman of the Iowa Republican Party is stepping down after being criticized for the way the “certified” results of the Iowa Caucuses were handled.
Matt Strawn released a video statement this morning.
Strawn announced on Caucus Night that Mitt Romney was the winner of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses, by an eight-vote margin. Two weeks later, the “certified” results compiled from paperwork sent to party headquarters indicated Rick Santorum finished 34 votes ahead of Romney, but Strawn originally said he “couldn’t speculate” as to which candidate won the Caucuses. Several hours later, after Santorum’s supporters cried foul, the Iowa GOP chairman declared Santorum the winner.
Governor Branstad last week called those “minor mistakes” and the governor said Strawn had done a “reasonable job” as party chairman.
Strawn’s last day as party chairman will be Friday, February 10th. In his video message, Strawn talked about helping to “usher in an era” for GOP dominance in Iowa.
“Over the past three-plus years we have succeeded beyond our wildest dreams,” Strawn said. “We witnesses sweeping Republican electoral victories at all levels. We saw an explosion of new Republican voters with an unprecedented 34 consecutive months of Iowa GOP voter registration gains. We kept the Iowa Caucuses first-in-the-nation. We broke fundraising records.”
Strawn also touted the three, nationally-televised Republican presidential candidate debates the party co-hosted in 2011.
“Simply put, your Iowa GOP is dramatically better off than it was four years ago,” Strawn said. “Your Iowa GOP is a relevant force again in Iowa politics.”
Strawn, an attorney from Ankeny who is part-owner of the Iowa Barnstormers, has been the Iowa GOP’s chairman since January of 2009.
“While the election wins, fundraising successes and media appearances are the aspects of being chairman that probably gained the most attention,” Strawn said, “the most rewarding aspect of my service was the opportunity to travel our great state and get to know you, the people of Iowa.”
It’s unclear what Stawn’s next move may be. In his video address Strawn mentioned giving the “competing priorities” in his personal and business endeavors “the attention they deserve.”
(This story was updated at 10:12 a.m.)