Iowa's Republican National Committeewoman Kim Lehman announced today by e-mail that she will not seek another term on the RNC this summer.
Delegates to the Republican Party of Iowa's 2008 statewide convention elected Lehman to the RNC by a wide margin over then State Representative Sandy Greiner. At the time, Lehman was the leader of the anti-abortion group Iowa Right to Life. Greiner was seen as the candidate of the old guard GOP establishment. At that same state convention, delegates rejected Steve Roberts, the longtime Republican National Committeeman from Iowa, in favor of Steve Scheffler, then leader of the Iowa Christian Alliance. (Scheffler's group is now called the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition.)
Lehman was at the center of controversy early in her term as RNC member, when the Iowa Right to Life newsletter described Republican Congressional candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks as a "great pretender." Not only did Iowa Republican moderates criticized Lehman as a divisive figure, the Iowa GOP's State Central Committee narrowly approved a motion censuring Lehman "for her actions in both failing to support and acting in opposition to the winner of our Second District Congressional Primary." The censure motion also called on Lehman to step down from her RNC position. Instead, she again promised to step aside as director of Iowa Right to Life.
Lehman and Scheffler preferred a more conservative candidate to Michael Steele, who was elected RNC chair in January 2009. In late 2009, both Lehman and Scheffler supported a resolution that would have imposed a so-called "purity test" on GOP candidates seeking the RNC's backing. (RNC members eventually voted down the "purity test" idea.)
Lehman made national news in the summer of 2010 for saying on Twitter that President Barack Obama is Muslim. She stuck to her guns on that point too.
In January 2011, Lehman and Scheffler supported Reince Priebus' bid to become RNC chairman.
Lehman endorsed Rick Santorum for president in the summer of 2011.
The Republican Party of Iowa sent out this e-mail signed by Lehman today.
May 22, 2012
I have decided that I will not seek a second term as Iowa's Republican National Committeewoman. After much prayer I now feel called to dedicate my time to the John Paul II Stem Cell Research Institute's Give Cures campaign. It's focus is on ethical cures for cancer and many other diseases using adult stem cell research. Learn more at www.GiveCures.org (my little plug).
There are a lot of thank you's in order, so let me begin by thanking my Chairman Reince Priebus, who has been a great blessing to the RNC, partly due to his hard work, but mostly due to the fact that he is wise man and a very good leader. I also want to thank Co-Chairman Sharon Day.
Thank you to all the grassroots activists in Iowa and all my dear friends on the RNC and at RPI. You have inspired me and I am humbled to have been able to get to know you and serve with you.
Wow! Looking back four years, it amazes me how much we were able to accomplish. We were able to pass some very good resolutions, some of which were:
Opposition to Bail Outs
Democrats March to Socialism
The Life Issue a Fundamental Foundation
Resolution on Cap and Trade
Resolution Opposing the National Popular Vote
Resolution Opposing the UN Agenda 21
Resolution in Support of Arizona
Resolution to Abandon Earmarks
Resolution in Support of Good Governance
Resolution to Reform the Obama Policy on Appointing Czars
Resolution to Repeal Obamacare
Resolution to Support Israel
Resolution to Keep US Missile Technology from China
Resolution Urging Protection of Second Amendment Rights
I will also be stepping down from the new organization I helped found called "Republican's [sic] Opposed the National Popular Vote" (ROTNPV). I'm confident my good friends Debbie Joslin, John Ryder, Carolyn McLarty, John Sigler and Solomon Yue will finish the job.
It has been a blessing to serve the RNC and I look forward to Tampa, as well as meeting Iowa's new State Central Committee members.
Kim Lehman, IA
Republican National Committeewoman, IA
Paid for by the Republican Party of Iowa
I am not sure what Lehman believes was accomplished by the resolutions mentioned above. None of them changed the way the RNC operates. In contrast, the "purity test" would have had some lasting impact on party politics.
Share any relevant thoughts in this thread, including speculation about who might run for Republican National Committeewoman at the Iowa GOP's state convention on June 16. Will Sandy Greiner, now a state senator, take another crack at it?
State Central Committee member David Chung, who offered the 2008 censure motion against Lehman, announced this week that he is running for Republican National Committeeman.