The 1442 delegates gathered Saturday in Des Moines for the Iowa Republican Party’s state convention heard calls for unity from party leaders, but as soon as the convention ended, the party’s chairman was asked to resign.
Iowa GOP chairman Danny Carroll delivered a short speech to delegates Saturday morning, urging factions within the party to quit criticizing other Republicans.
“As we kick off this election season, a unified party has never been more important and you know unity is not something that can be achieved by just a few people in leadership or someone who can give a good speech,” Carroll said. “The word itself, unity, suggests everyone doing their part.”
The new Iowa Republican Party state central committee took over late Saturday afternoon, right after the convention ended, and asked Carroll to resign. He refused and the party’s board of directors has scheduled a meeting for Saturday, June 28 to hold a leadership election.
Iowa’s Republican National Committeewoman Tamara Scott will be voting in that meeting, but she is among those who have argued Carroll should stay.
“It’s time we start bickering between ourselves and start battling the real enemy,” Scott told delegates Saturday afternoon.
Scott urged the party’s rank-and-file to stop “grumbling” and start “rumbling” through their neighborhoods to round up votes for Republicans.
“It’s hard to grow a party when you’re busy tearing each other apart,” Scott said.
Carroll, who is from Grinnell, is a former state legislator and lobbyist for the Christian conservative group The Family Leader. Carroll has been party chairman for less than three months. He was elected on March 29 to replace A.J. Spiker of Ames who resigned as party chairman to take a job with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s political action committee.
Governor Terry Branstad has repeatedly said it is up to the party’s state central committee to decide who should be GOP chairman, but Branstad’s reelection campaign took steps in January to get the governor’s supporters to participate in the precinct caucuses and those Branstad backers displaced so-called “liberty movement” activists who had helped Ron Paul supporters gain a majority on the party’s governing board two years ago.