Matt Schultz running in IA-03; Paul Pate running for Secretary of State

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz confirmed today that he will run for Congress in the open third district. He announced his decision at a press conference in Council Bluffs, where he served on the city council before winning the 2010 election for secretary of state. Council Bluffs is the second-largest city in IA-03. Schultz for Congress is on the web here and on Facebook here. The candidate’s Twitter handle is VoteMattSchultz. So far the website doesn’t contain detailed issue positions, just five section headings: “Protect against government overreach,” “Enact term limits for elected officials,” “Repeal Obamacare,” “Balance the federal government’s budget,” and “Protect our 2nd Amendment rights.”

I’ve posted background on Schultz after the jump, along with an excerpt from today’s official press release announcing his candidacy. It doesn’t mention what I suspect are the real reasons he is running for Congress instead of for re-election.

Meanwhile, Paul Pate announced today that he will seek the Republican nomination for secretary of state. He was elected to that statewide position in 1994 but left after one term to run for governor. Speaking to the Des Moines Register today, Pate said his experience gives him “a pretty good grasp of the office’s responsibilities,” allowing him to “hit the ground running.” He added that he can win the secretary of state’s race.

Pate said he already has strong name-ID with voters around Iowa, and a proven record of fundraising. The successful GOP candidate will need to raise at least $250,000, he said.

“Candidates need to recognize they won’t be able to run this on a shoestring budget,” he said.

Pate, who said he has “great respect” for Schultz, wants to make some changes to the secretary of state position.

“One key thing is my desire to bring more a nonpartisan approach to the office,” he said. “I think that’s something that Iowans and Americans have been clamoring for with all the gridlock going on in Washington.”

Pate flirted with running for Congress in IA-01 last year before opting out, citing family reasons. I’m curious to see whether he can clear the Republican field. My hunch is that he will be unopposed in the primary. I am seeking comment from State Representative Mary Ann Hanusa, who was the 2006 GOP nominee for secretary of state.

Brad Anderson is the likely Democratic nominee for this office, although former Secretary of State Michael Mauro has not ruled out running again in 2014. Mauro is currently Iowa’s labor commissioner.

From a Schultz for Congress press release, January 9:

“Fighting for the people of Iowa in the state Capitol has been an honor and privilege, but Washington is so broken, and so out of touch with main-street America, that I could no longer sit on the sidelines and watch as our children’s future was being mortgaged to pay for reckless policies today.”

“Our nation is $17 trillion in debt. Obamacare has resulted in more people losing their plans than it has actually insured. This has to stop now. As Congressman, I will stand up for the 3rd District, the entire district. I will fight for Iowa’s families by repealing Obamacare, controlling spending, and supporting term limits that end the career politicians’ and special interests’ hold on America, because this is the Peoples’ government – not Washington’s.”

From Schultz’s official biography on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

Matt Schultz was elected to office in 2010 as the youngest secretary of state in the country, and is currently serving his first term as Iowa Secretary of State. He was first elected to public office in 2005 as a city councilman in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he was re-elected and served for a total of five years.

Secretary Schultz has focused on streamlining business services, including a new statewide lien registration system, and advocating for the integrity of the elections process. He supports a voter identification law in Iowa, and has been pro-active in maintaining clean and accurate voter registration records in the state. Schultz has also worked to increase ease of access to voting for active members of the military from Iowa.

Secretary Schultz has established two new programs aimed at increasing voter participation in Iowa. Rock Iowa, which is a partnership with the nationally-recognized Rock the Vote organization, is an interactive class-based program for high school seniors to help educate them about the electoral process and encourage them to register to vote. Honor a Veteran with Your Vote is a program that encourages participants to register and vote to honor the sacrifices service men and women have made for our country. There is also a permanent online tribute page for participants to honor past or present military personnel.

Secretary Schultz is an active member of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) serving as Co-Chair of the Elections Committee, and also serves as a member of the Subcommittee on Presidential Primaries, the Voter Participation Committee and the Business Services Committee for NASS.

Secretary Schultz is a graduate of BYU-Idaho, the University of Iowa, and the Law School at Creighton University. He practiced law in Council Bluffs before being elected Iowa Secretary of State.

Schultz grew up in West Des Moines and is an Eagle Scout. He is active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and served a two-year mission in Argentina. He and his wife, Zola, reside in Madison County with their five children.

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  • Paul who?

    I think Pate is over estimating his name ID. It will be more helpful with party activists than voters at large, so maybe it will clear the primary field but he’s been gone too long for the average voter to remember him.  And he was remarkably lack luster as Iowa Secretary of State, which doesn’t make people cheer with enthusiasm at his return.

    It will be interesting to see if the Republicans can actually start recruiting new people to elected office.  Right now they’re running the “been there done that list.”

    Also, while Council Bluffs is the second largest city in the district, West Des Moines is very close behind, only a few thousand less voters at the most, with probably better voter participation than Council Bluffs.

    • I agree

      I would guess that fewer than 10 percent of Iowans remember who he is.

      I think in today’s political climate, someone could claim that Pate is “too moderate” (pointing to various things he voted for in state budgets), but the question is whether someone would go to the trouble for this office. I believe that would have been more of an issue if he had run in IA-01. Who’s going to raise the kind of cash you would need for a tough statewide primary, only to face a well-funded Democrat in the general?