Iowa Republican Party leaders will meet June 28th to select a new chairman and Republican Governor Terry Branstad insists he is leaving the decision up to the party’s new board of directors.
“I have come to the understanding that it is not the governor, but the state central committee that should choose the Republican state chairman,” Branstad told reporters this morning.
AUDIO of Branstad’s weekly press conference, 27:00
Branstad put Richard Schwarm, his long-time friend and law partner, in place to serve as party chairman during his previous run as governor, but Branstad said that was “a long time ago.”
“We have a new leadership, we have new members of the central committee and I have great confidence that they will make a thoughtful choice to make sure we have a party that is united, as we saw at the convention,” Branstad says.
As soon as the party’s state convention ended Saturday, the Iowa GOP’s new state central committee put current chairman Danny Carroll on notice that his days in the job are numbered and a leadership election was scheduled on the last Saturday of the month. Party insiders say Jeff Kaufmann of Wilton who has served as an emcee at Branstad’s campaign events this year is the leading candidate for the job of party chairman.
“Well, it wouldn’t be a total surprise. I’ve heard that he has an interest. Jeff’s a good guy. Like Danny Carroll, he served in the legislature,” Branstad says. “He’s a very capable and effective spokesperson.” Once a new party chairman is installed at the end of this month, the Iowa GOP will have had four chairman in the past two and a half years. Danny Carroll, the current chairman, has held the post less than three months.
During a previous leadership election in early 2012, Branstad’s choice was defeated by A.J. Spiker, who had worked on Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign. Spiker resigned this spring to work for Rand Paul’s PAC.