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Committee seeks new head for Iowa GOP

BY CARTER CRANBERG | MARCH 10, 2014 5:00 AM

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Time is of the essence for the Iowa Republicans.

After GOP State Central Committee Chairman A.J. Spiker resigned this past weekend, officials must now consider who could take his place.

According to the Des Moines Register, Spiker resigned from his position to join a Rand Paul PAC, a move that the Republican committee did not expect. 

Committeeman Steve Scheffler as well as several other members, was unaware of Spiker’s desire to work for the Paul PAC.

“I talked to A.J. quite often, but he never indicated to me in any way, shape, or form that he intended to step down,” Scheffler said. “To say I was surprised is quite an understatement.”

Attempts to reach Spiker on Sunday evening were unsuccessful.

The committee is looking for a candidate who can unite the party for this year’s elections, which could potentially sway the state Senate in the Republicans’ favor.

As of now, the committee will hold a meeting in late March to discuss and vote on a new chairman. Co-head Danny Carroll said he intends to run for the opening.

“I would like to and plan to seek the position as chairman of the party, but that will be decided and voted on at the March 29 committee meeting,” he said.

Tim Hagle, a University of Iowa political-science associate professor, said there is urgency in acquiring a replacement.

“If they pick someone with a good amount of experience, the person can step in fairly easy,” he said. “It’s not the most opportune time, with eight months to go before the election, but it could still work out for them.”

While Spiker’s decision appears to have come out of the blue, Hagle said it is understandable.

“A young guy like Spiker is looking for opportunities…” he said. “The chance to further his personal career gave him good reason to step down.”

While numerous committee members addressed the struggle they now face, they also acknowledged Spiker’s views were not always agreed upon and led to tensions in the party. In light of his resignation, committee member Tony Krebsbach said he feels a greater sense of unity might be achieved.

While Krebsbach and other members said there is uncertainty with which direction the GOP will go, they remain optimistic.

“I really hope that from here, we can figure out a little bit more of cooperation,” he said. “There have been a lot of people gunning for A.J., who had a little bit of a different perspective, so I hope that we can now work together and continue on what A.J. has been doing.”


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