Dave Nagel. (RI photo)

The Iowa Democratic Party’s governing board is scheduled to elect a new party chair tomorrow. The new leader will inherit a party reeling from 2022 election losses and dwindling finances.

Former Congressman Dave Nagle of Cedar Falls served as party chairman 40 years ago. Nagle says the party’s next leader will also have to decide whether to fight to keep the Iowa Caucuses first in the nation.

“Or we’re going to allow Washington, D.C. to tell us what we should do, when we can do it and how we can do it,” Nagle says.

National party leaders have said Iowa delegates may not participate in the 2024 Democratic National Convention if the Iowa Caucuses are held before presidential primaries in other states. Nagle says that’s not much of a threat.

“It’s 50 Iowans that don’t have to go be stage props in August wherever they’re going to have the national convention,” Nagle said. “That’s a small price to pay.”

The more than 60 members of the Iowa Democratic Party state central committee are scheduled to convene Saturday morning to conduct the election for a new party chair. The group will consider a proposal to create another smaller executive committee that would include the Democratic leaders in the legislature. Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls says it’s common for large boards to select a smaller group to address pressing issues.

“I think that this will be a productive proposal that will help improve the governance of the party and leadership of the party,” Wahls says, “and I certainly strongly endorse it and hope that it passes.”

House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst says the proposed change in party structure would involve people like her and Wahls who are raising money and recruiting candidates for the legislature.

“It’s a very reasonable and common sense approach as we try to modernize,” she says.

The Iowa Republican Party’s state central committee has 20 members. It met on January 14 and reelected Jeff Kaufmann as party chairman.

Radio Iowa