The co-chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa is debating whether wants to become party chairman.
Iowa GOP chairman Matt Strawn’s recently announced resignation takes effect Friday, February 10th. According to party rules, current co-chair Bill Schickel of Mason City will automatically become the interim chair.
“It’s something I’m certainly considering and I’ll be making a decision here shortly,” Schickel says.
Schickel says Strawn moved the party in a positive direction.
“The facts speak for themselves in terms of the success of his tenure,” Schickel says. “We’ve had very strong organization, very strong fundraising, an increase in voter registration and a lot of success at the ballot box, so I’m disappointed to see Matt leave, but looking forward to moving forward now.”
Strawn’s exit happened after critics questioned the way the “certified” results of the caucuses were handled. Strawn declaring Mitt Romney the winner on caucus night, then said a winner couldn’t be determined two weeks later when the “certified” results were in, only to say later that Rick Santorum was the winner. Schickel says improving the process of reporting caucus results is a priority for the party.
“The caucuses, both on the Republican and Democratic side, are a chance for people to get involved early, to get involved in a grassroots way and that’s a good thing,” Schickel says. “…Yes, we had some problems which we’ve acknowledged and will fix, but all-in-all, the caucuses were very successful and achieved the desired result.”
Schickel is a former mayor of Mason City and represented Mason City in the Iowa House from January of 2003 to January of 2009. Governor Branstad, the top Republican official in Iowa, has said publicly he wants Schickel to serve as interim chair.
(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KGLO, Mason CIty)