Cross Matt Strawn off the list of potential Iowa Republican candidates

Former Republican Party of Iowa Chair Matt Strawn’s name came up earlier this year as a possible candidate for U.S. Senate, but don’t expect him to be a serious contender for any statewide office in the foreseeable future. News broke yesterday that the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois has hired the firm Strawn and two prominent Illinois Republicans founded earlier this year to to lobby GOP lawmakers in Illinois to support a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. This spring, Illinois appeared to be on the brink of adopting a marriage equality bill, but supporters never brought it up for a vote in the state House. They plan to try again when the legislature returns in November. Although Strawn’s partner Pat Brady, the former Illinois GOP chair, will do the heavy lifting on this job, social conservatives who dominate the Iowa GOP’s activist base will surely hold a grudge against Strawn.

I got a kick out of Craig Robinson’s rewriting of history yesterday, saying Strawn “abdicated” the Iowa GOP chairmanship, but that “some Iowa Republicans still consider him to have been a good chairman, especially in comparison to his successor.” Robinson was the loudest voice demanding Strawn’s resignation in the wake of the 2012 Iowa caucus vote-counting fiasco. Be careful what you wish for.

  • Strawm

    Isn’t the GOP going to be more neutral on the gay marriage issue in future years?  They really have to.  I think they will do something on immigration as well.  I begin to roll my eyes when people act like conservatism is going to go completely extinct simply based on demographic changes.  They will adapt.

    Strawn would be a decent candidate in the future, they shouldn’t write him off.  Mark Jacobs may be a good candidate to keep track of if the typical Iowa business person, conservative type can win the nomination from the Iowa GOP.  

    • the party activists will lag behind

      the general public on this issue, as with several others. They are so focused on finding a pure conservative.

      The only reason Mark Jacobs has a chance (in my opinion) is that he will be able to self-fund. I think he might be considered suspect by the base, but he should outspend all the other candidates in the primary–perhaps by a lot, depending on how much Branstad’s people help Joni Ernst raise.

      • For granted

        You are right about the GOP base.  I hope enough of them snap out of it somewhat because we can’t have a proper discussion about the direction of our state going forward. Matt Strawn was quite shaky during the caucuses, but he always carried himself fairly well in other appearances.  

        David Young and Jacobs could both have serious discussions with Braley about his views, but it would just end up becoming a situation where people would exploit those statements about Schumer that Young made for example.  I agree that they were weird, but debates over social issues in the Iowa  U.S. Senate Race are not going to change the direction of the rest of the country.

        I don’t expect Young to be anywhere close to the nomination, but they need to nominate serious people.  Jacobs is serious.  Ernst could be serious, but she’s been told to play it close to the vest.

        If Republicans nominate people like Clovis or Fischer Dems start to take votes in the middle for granted.

        • Ernst sounds so programmed

          No matter what the question is, her answer begins with, “As a mother, a soldier, and a conservative…” I am sure that focus-grouped really well, but it’s going to get old.

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