Only a few weeks after becoming the state chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, Dr. Andy McGuire is overseeing big staff changes. As first reported by Iowa Starting Line yesterday, Troy Price is leaving after a little more than two years as executive director. Excerpt from an e-mail McGuire sent to State Central Committee members after a conference call on the evening of February 17:
I want to let you all know that our executive director Troy Price and our deputy executive director Kevin Geiken will be transitioning out of the party over the next couple of weeks. Troy will continue at the party until March 3, and Kevin is planning to remain to help with the SCC retreat March 7-8. I want to thank both of them for their outstanding service to the party and wish them all the best in their next endeavors.
I would also like to announce that Ben Foecke will be coming on as our new Executive Director starting February 23. Ben came to work at the Iowa Democratic Party out of college, canvassing door-to-door for the Harkin/Vilsack coordinated campaign in 2001. He became Caucus Director in 2004, overseeing the (then) largest Precinct Caucus in Iowa history. Since 2009, Ben has worked for the Iowa Senate Majority Fund.
I will update this post as needed with further details. UPDATE: Added below the official statement from the Iowa Democratic Party.
SECOND UPDATE: O.Kay Henderson noted that Foecke worked for Mike Blouin's gubernatorial campaign during the 2006 Democratic primary. McGuire was Blouin's running mate during that race. Pat Rynard pointed out,
[Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike] Gronstal endorsed and lobbied hard behind the scenes for McGuire's candidacy, getting involved in internal party politics in a way he hasn't before. Now one of his long-time staffers may lead the party's day-to-day operations. As one of the only remaining elected Democratic leaders left in the state, it appears that Gronstal is taking a much more active control over the direction of the state party.