Despite advice to the contrary from the state’s top elected GOP officials and candidates in the 2014 U.S. Senate primary, the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa has rejected calls for an earlier state convention.
The State Central Committee scheduled the 2014 convention for July 12, saying it was the first date feasible after ballots from the June 3 primary election are officially canvassed.
“I will not ask for another vote by the State Central Committee to move the State Convention date,” Chairman A.J. Spiker wrote in a letter to State Central Committee members today.
Party leaders – Sen. Chuck Grassley and Gov. Terry Branstad – as well as the candidates for the nomination for the open U.S. Senate seat all expressed concerns that delaying the convention until mid-July could handicap the eventual nominee. The nominee would have less time to mount a general election campaign against presumptive Democratic nominee U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, who faces no primary competition.
The kerfuffle over the date of the state convention will be meaningless if one of the several candidates for the GOP nomination gets at least 35 percent of the vote in the primary election. Unless a candidate achieves that threshold, a nominee will be selected at the state convention.
However, with at least seven Republicans seeking the nomination, many Republicans are concerned that none of them will get 35 percent of the vote.
Spiker wrote that he has told each of the Senate hopefuls “it was my desire to have a candidate finish with at least 35 percent of the vote and it was also my wish to have only one state convention to avoid a possible scenario where turnout is depressed at one or both conventions if two conventions were required.”
The party’s state conventions typically are in June.
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