Mike Naig

The man who’s been state ag secretary since March appears to have fallen a fraction short of the 35 percent threshold he needed in yesterday’s primary to win the Republican Party’s nomination for ag secretary.

Shortly after 1 a.m. today all 99 counties had reported results and Mike Naig had 34.74 percent. That means delegates at the Iowa GOP’s state convention on June 16th will decide who to nominee for state ag secretary. State Senator Dan Zumbach, a farmer from Ryan, finished close behind Naig. Ray Gaesser, a farmer from Corning, is also in the extended race with Naig.

“My strategy for our team has always been that we thought it would go to the state convention,” Gaesser told Radio Iowa early this morning. “I”ve personally made about 1600 calls to the delegates to the state convention and shared with them my vision for Iowa agriculture.”

Gaesser is the former president of the Iowa and the American Soybean Associations. Gaesser said he’s been on many trade missions and developed relationships with officials in countries that can yield expanded access to foreign markets for Iowa farmers.

Former Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Lang, another of the GOP’s ag secretary candidates, issued a written statement early this morning, saying the election returns show he had “broad support across the entire state” and “that makes a strong case” Republican state convention delegates should nominate him.