Latest news on the Iowa Democratic Party leadership contest

Former Iowa Democratic Party executive director Troy Price will seek the state chair position, he confirmed this afternoon. I enclose below the e-mail Price sent to State Central Committee members, who will elect Derek Eadon’s successor on July 22. Excerpt:

I have previously served as Executive Director of IDP, where among other things I developed and managed an $8 million coordinated campaign – the largest non-presidential coordinated campaign in Iowa’s history. My state leadership roles also include two presidential campaigns, staring with President Obama’s re-election in 2012, building and nurturing donor and organizational relationships all across the state. I have developed and managed communications for two Democratic Governors. Plus, I ran One Iowa, the State’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, during a time of great challenge following the loss in 2010 of three Supreme Court justices who supported the Varnum decision.

The biggest challenge for Price over the next two weeks will be winning over State Central Committee members elected by delegates who favored Bernie Sanders for president. Some Sanders supporters retain strong anti-establishment feelings, and Price was Hillary Clinton’s political director here before the 2016 caucuses. I have not heard of any “Berniecrat” planning to run for chair, though. During the last leadership contest, Blair Lawton had the most support from the Sanders wing on the State Central Committee, followed by Kim Weaver. Neither Lawton nor Weaver is seeking the position now.

Julie Stauch is the only other confirmed candidate to lead the Iowa Democratic Party. Bill Brauch told me this afternoon, “I have withdrawn as a chair candidate, for my own health reasons.” Kurt Meyer is still considering another bid for party chair.

For the last several months, Price has been running State Representative Todd Prichard’s gubernatorial campaign. Going forward, John Davis will manage day-to-day operations for Prichard, and Jesse Harris will be a policy adviser.

UPDATE: Bob Krause joined Stauch and Price at a forum organized by the Iowa Democratic Party’s Veterans Caucus in Waterloo on July 8. Krause was one of eight candidates who campaigned for the party’s top job last winter; I posted more background on him here.

Meanwhile, Meyer told Bleeding Heartland on July 9 that he has decided against running for state party chair again.

I looked long and hard at what the Party needs and what I could do to be helpful. I engaged in conversations with a number of people, mostly people inside the Party, activists, candidates, etc. I urged Troy Price to run for the Chair position and am very pleased that he’s seeking the post. I decided the best way for me to be of service is to do everything I can to help the Party’s efforts to raise money… that’s what I’ll be doing for the foreseeable future. I’ve agreed to head up a statewide Finance Committee. And although I agreed to this post when the previous Chair was in place, I am very eager to work with our new incoming Party Chair.


E-mail sent on July 7,

Dear Members of the Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee,

My name is Troy Price, and I am running to be the next chair of our Iowa Democratic Party. As someone who has worked for two Democratic Governors, served as Executive Director of the state party and worked on several statewide campaigns, I have had a chance to work with and get to know a great number of you. However, for those that I have not had a chance to connect with, I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

Growing up gay in a small town in eastern Iowa, it was easy to feel like you were alone. Luckily, I found a place where people where standing up for me – as it turns out that place was the Democratic Party. That’s why I have committed myself to our party and to helping it be successful — no matter what it takes.

Like you, I have watched in recent election cycles with growing frustration and anger about how our party continues to lose touch with the very people who we are trying to help most. We have focused on tactics, not vision, and in the process have lost some of our base. Simply put, no one has been buying what we were selling.

Now, we stand at a critical juncture. With an unpopular President, a GOP that has worked tirelessly to shove our country backwards, and progressive grassroots activism (the likes of which we have not seen in a decade) our party has an opportunity to win in 2018 at all levels of the ticket. However, we will only be successful if we operate with deliberate actions, keeping in mind who our platform serves (people!) and how to successfully engage people in the process. I am running to be the next chair of the IDP, because I have the commitment, experience, relationships, and passion to grow our party so we can win next year… and beyond.

I have previously served as Executive Director of IDP, where among other things I developed and managed an $8 million coordinated campaign – the largest non-presidential coordinated campaign in Iowa’s history. My state leadership roles also include two presidential campaigns, staring with President Obama’s re-election in 2012, building and nurturing donor and organizational relationships all across the state. I have developed and managed communications for two Democratic Governors. Plus, I ran One Iowa, the State’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, during a time of great challenge following the loss in 2010 of three Supreme Court justices who supported the Varnum decision.

Throughout it all, I have seen what drives the party. It is not the chair, or the elected officials – It is all of you. Activists and volunteers who share the common belief that our state should be a better place where everyone has a chance to succeed. It is how I approached any position I have had in politics, and it is what I would do as chair.

Together, we have a lot we need to accomplish, and I would utilize my experiences to help move our party forward by:
Strengthening our relationships with our partners and raise the resources we need to win; I will utilize my relationships throughout the State and the nation to do so;
Developing a message that we as a party can use at all levels – not just with committees but also candidates, and start using that message immediately so there is no question who our party is and what our party stands for;
Creating a solid caucus-to-convention program, working with the campaigns and you to develop and implement an effective and transparent plan;
Supporting our identity caucuses and give them the tools they need to help us grow our party; and
Protecting our First In The Nation Caucuses, and continuing to build upon the caucus expansion efforts we implemented during my tenure at the IDP to increase participation and streamline the process.
The challenges we face as a party are real, but together we can meet them head on. I enter this race offering both my past experiences and goals for the future. I ask for your vote so that together, we can build a Democratic Party where all are welcome as we work together toward a stronger, progressive future.

I look forward to talking and meeting you in the weeks ahead, and a spirited discussion about our party. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me or give me a call at 515.975.5478.

Thanks and talk soon,

troy

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