IA-01: Steve Rathje's fiscal management to be tested

Republican Steve Rathje announced this week that he has hired staff for his campaign in Iowa’s first Congressional district. The press release enclosed below contains background on campaign manager Doug Wagner and field director Taylor Nelson. Rathje also rolled out a steering committee of “30 people from all walks of life” who “either live in the 1st District, have employees who live here, or do business and serve people here.” Those names are after the jump as well.

Hiring staff more than a year before the 2014 Republican primary is risky for Rathje. His campaign raised about $51,500 during the first quarter, but more than half of that total came from six donors who each contributed the maximum $5,200 ($2,600 for the primary election and $2,600 for the general election). Rathje’s campaign reported $31,082.87 cash on hand as of March 31, but $15,600 of that amount is restricted for use during the 2014 general election campaign. He can’t spend that money trying to defeat Rod Blum and/or other Republicans who may declare in IA-01 later.

Rathje will either need to broaden his donor base or loan his campaign lots of money in order to keep paying staff for the next 13 months. Since Blum had a strong showing in the 2012 GOP primary to represent IA-01, Rathje should save some resources for direct mail, radio or television advertising next spring too.

Rathje for Congress press release, April 22:

1st Congressional District GOP Candidate Rathje Draws Together Campaign Organization and Announces Endorsements

Steve Rathje, Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives seat representing the 1st District of Iowa, announced his campaign organization for the 2014 election.

“I am proud to have the support of so many people in my run for Congress,” Rathje said.  “I’ve been listening to Iowans and I see what is going on both in Iowa and across the country.  These conversations strengthen my resolve to win this race and go to Washington as someone who will focus on job creation, the economy and increasing take home pay.  Everyday, in my business, I am working hard to get our economy back on track by bringing manufacturing and jobs back home.”

Rathje also announced the names of the Rathje for Congress Steering Committee, saying, “I am proud that this group-these 30 people from all walks of life-have agreed to assist me, and I am thankful for their leadership.”  Members of the Rathje for Congress Steering Committee include:

John Armon-Professional, Industrial and Commercial Construction

Virginia Bailey-(Retired) Rockwell Collins

Bill Becker-CEO, Comweb International

Dave Brown-President and CEO, Modern Piping

George Cramer-Senior Shareholder, Cramer and Associates

Kurt Croell-President and CEO, Croell Redi-Mix

Jeff Elgin-President, J&P Elgin

Chuck Finnegan-CEO, L.L. Pelling Asphalt Paving Company

Mark Hanrahan-CEO, MidAmerica Aerospace

Matt Horsfield-President, Horsfield Companies

Brad Loney-Executive, Intertrade Steel and Triton Manufacturing

Wieslaw Machinowski, M.D.-Pediatrician

Bill McClelland-President, UR Relay

Angie McClure, Director of Community Relations, The Views Senior Living Center

John Morgan-Financial Advisor, Mutual of Omaha

Sid Morris-Retired Administrator, University of Northern Iowa

Leon Mosley-Past Chair, Republican Party of Iowa

Gene Munier-Linn County Farmer

Dr. Gene Nassif, D.P.M.-Principal, Foot and Ankle Specialists of Iowa

Jim Neiman-CEO, Paul Neiman Construction

Dr. M.N. Payvandi-M.D.-Cardiologist

John Peterson-CEO, Amana Society

Bob Rathje-President, Rathje Construction

Mary Rathje-Executive, Rathje Construction

John Roetlin-CEO, Kalona Cheese Factory

Charlie Rohde-President, King’s Materials

John Sadler-CEO, Sadler Power Train

Dave Streb-President and CEO, Streb Construction

James Unzeitig-Vice President, Unzeitig Construction

Bill Wirth-Independent Insurance Broker

“Each of these people either live in the 1st District, have employees who live here, or do business and serve people here,” Rathje noted.  “They understand, first hand, that the promised economic recovery has not materialized and they want to work with a candidate who has solutions.  I’m running for Congress and my broad based support is because people are tired of all of the political infighting, both within the Republican Party and in Washington.  People are asking for someone to step forward who can focus on creating or finding solutions for our problems rather than just getting stuck on the problems.”

Mr. Rathje, whose campaign reported over $50,000 in fundraising in 40 days during the 1st quarter, announced several prominent endorsements of former military leaders, as well.  “These retired Generals and current Fox News Analysts stand with me and my desire to increase the strength of our nation’s military and responsibly carry out the defense of our country,” said Rathje.  The individuals who have endorsed Rathje include:

Rathje announced endorsements of former military leaders:

Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney, US Air Force, Ret.

Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, US Army, Ret.

Brigadier Gen. Jimmy Cash, US Air Force, Ret.

In addition, Rathje also announced additions to his campaign staff of Doug Wagner as Campaign Manager and Taylor Nelson as Field Director.   Wagner has served as campaign manager of the successful referendum for the funding of Veterans Memorial Stadium, as Press Secretary to former First District Congressman, Jim Leach (1997-2000), and as Chief of Staff to the Mayor and Executive Assistant to the City Council for the City of Cedar Rapids (2002-2006).  In addition to having run for Cedar Rapids City Council, Nelson has served as founder and president of both the Kirkwood College Republicans (2009-2011) and Linn County College Republicans (beginning 2011).

  • Rathje

    Rathje always starts with a lot of bluster, we’ve seen this show before as far as I am concerned.

    • I agree

      It’s not wise to brag about how much money you raised when more than half of it came from a few close friends and family members.

      Pat Murphy raised significantly more during the first quarter and didn’t spend as much and doesn’t have a ton of his cash on hand restricted for use during the general election.

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