Iowa GOP keeps state convention in Des Moines

The State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Iowa voted yesterday to hold the state GOP convention in Des Moines yet again this June. Bret Hayworth reports:

Sioux City area Republicans pushed hard to land the convention after several consecutive years of the event being held in Des Moines. [..]

It was news that made Bill Anderson of tiny Pierson, a member of the Iowa GOP state central committee, quite disappointed. Anderson, who happens to be running for Iowa Senate District 27, voted for Sioux City, but he was one of only two to do so. He said the vote broke down as 10 for DM, three for Cedar Rapids and two for Sioux City, while two members didn’t take part.

“I am surprised that it was so lopsided,” Anderson said.

In the last two decades, the convention has been held outside of Des Moines, although the couple of times it happened, Cedar Rapids was the only other site. So coming to Sioux City in far western Iowa would have been a break from tradition.

Anderson said with a Sioux City siting, the delegates would have found plenty of hospitable folks eager to show them a good time while the convention played out in venues like the picturesque Orpheum Theatre.

Don’t take it personally, Mr. Anderson. Sioux City will probably host a state convention someday, but choosing that location this year would have been too risky. With four Republicans running for Congress in Iowa’s second district and seven running in Iowa’s third district, there is a good chance that no candidate will win 35 percent of the vote in the June 8 primary. In that case, the Republican nominees in IA-02 and/or IA-03 would be selected by a district convention, which would probably convene during the GOP state convention in late June. Republican commentators had already expressed concern that turnout from central and eastern Iowa would suffer if delegates were asked to drive four to seven hours each way to the convention location.

Getting to Des Moines will be much easier for delegates in the second and especially the third districts. The main logistical problem for Republicans coming to the state convention this summer will be finding hotel rooms here during the same weekend as the Des Moines Arts Festival.

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