Congressman Steve King says it may be time to change Iowa law and establish a run-off between the top two Primary Election vote-getters if no candidate gets 35 percent in the Primary.
King had to go through a nominating convention back in 2002 when he won 30 percent support in the fifth congressional district primary that year. Six Republican Primary candidates are facing a nominating convention on June 21 in Creston for the G-O-P’s nomination in the third congressional district.
“I may want to wait until after the convention to put a final word on that, but if you’d asked me last year I would have said here’s what we need to do: the 35 percent number is fine, because it makes sure that you nominate someone who is a fairly strong candidate, but I would rather go to a run-off rather than a special nominating convention,” King said, “an run-off that is set in a short period of time, say two weeks and get it over with.”
King suggests there’s too much possibility to mischief at a nominating convention.
“If you finished first in the primary, then it’s like a game of ‘King of the Hill’. Everybody is trying to pull you off of that and they look at what kind of deals they can make — if I lose, I’ll support so and so,” King said. “Those kind of things and the longer it goes, the more opportunity there is for that. Now I don’t think there was a lot going on in the convention I went through and I don’t anticipate it here, but the rules allow for too many things that make me a little nervous.”
Republican Party rules allow anyone to be nominated at the district convention on the 14th, but King does not expect anyone other than the candidates who ran in the primary to be nominated.
“The candidates that have campaigned so long and so hard — and by the way they’re honorable, every one of them, and I could work with every one of them — they have earned this and I think the delegates are going to respect their effort and I don’t think anyone else is going to be nominated, although the rules allow for it,” King said.
King has talked with all six candidates, offering advice, and while he’s been asked by “some” of them to endore, he does not plan to publicly state his preference among the six candidates. King made his comments during taping of the Iowa Press program which airs tonighton Iowa Public Television.