Marianette Miller-Meeks. (photo from U.S. House)

Iowa GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann says Mahaska County Republicans do not have the power to formally censure Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks for her vote supporting same-sex marriage.

“County committees do not have the ability to censure. There is nothing in our bylaws that talks about censure. Even the Republican Party of Iowa cannot censure,” Kaufmann told reporters last night. “It’s a word to show disapproval.”

Mahaska County Republicans voted a week ago to censure Miller-Meeks for voting yes on a bill to ensure all states recognize same-sex and interracial marriages. Kaufmann issued a general call for party unity at an Iowa GOP fundraiser last night.

“There is no perfect candidate. If you think there is one, run then!” Kaufmann said, to applause. “This is no time to parse words. This is no time to think about: ‘I have to have agreement 99% of the time.'”

With the election in just 88 days, Kaufmann indicates his basic message to Iowa Republicans right now is to support Republican candidates.

“You might say: ‘Well, I don’t agree with them all the time,’ I don’t care! And neither should you,” Kaufmann said. “…Folks, we’re a team. This is a full-contact sport.”

Mahaska County Republicans say supporting same-sex marriage directly opposes the Iowa Republican Party platform, which calls traditional one-man and one-woman marriages the foundation of an enduring and healthy civilization.

Republican Congresswoman Ashley Hinson of Marion also voted for the Respect for Marriage Act. Hinson said it “maintains settled law” on same-sex and interracial marriages. An Iowa Supreme Court ruling legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa 13 years ago.