Governor Terry Branstad says he’d be open to changing Iowa election law to create run-off elections when no candidate in a party primary crosses the 35 percent threshold.
“That would be something to look at,” Branstad said this morning during his weekly news conference.
Under state law, if no primary candidate wins at least 35 percent, then the nominee must be chosen at the party’s state convention. It may be an issue in this year’s GOP Primary for the U.S. Senate, as there are seven Republican candidates running in the primary, but Branstad said he’s “been through a few of these” and a convention is not a certainty.
“Remember when I got in the race for governor (in 1982) there were six candidates in the race and people thought it could go to convention. We won very decisively and we went on to win the General Election,” Branstad said. “…Republican Primary voters will get an opportunity to look at and hear from the candidates…I think the more they get a chance to evaluate the candidates, we’ll see somebody emerge.”
There are run-off elections in non-partisan elections in some Iowa cities that have ordinances requiring a candidate to get a majority of the vote to win and those run-off elections are generally 30 days after the initial vote. Branstad said “a number of states” have run-off elections when political parties are putting forward candidates for the General Election ballot.
“I think it might make sense,” Branstad said. “I’m certainly willing to look at the idea of having a run-off election, let’s say 30 days later.”
AUDIO of Branstad’s weekly news conference, 30:00
Former energy company CEO Mark Jacobs will officially announce on Tuesday that he’s running for the U-S Senate, joining six other Republican candidates who’ve been campaigning for the job this summer and fall.
(This post was updated at 11:41 am with additional information about city elections.)