Before Matt Schultz’s election as Secretary of State, Republican and Democratic secretaries of state did not overtly use the office to promote a partisan political agenda.
Democrats and elected Republicans have criticized Schultz’s partisan conduct in office. Polk County Judge Mary Pat Gunderson, who was appointed by Gov. Terry Branstad, found Schultz’s action as Secretary of State “created confusion and mistrust in the voters’ registration process.”
Last December, Iowa’s Republican auditor publicly warned Schultz he needs to be prepared to repay the federal government $280,000 in federal funds Schultz spent trying to prove voter fraud.
After Schultz announced his candidacy for Congress, Paul Pate announced his candidacy for Secretary of State. Pate’s official announcement stated Iowa needs a Secretary of State “who will protect their election process … without political motives.” Pate told the Des Moines Register he wanted “to bring a more nonpartisan approach to the office.”
I agree political motives have no place in the Secretary of State’s office; however, these sentiments are inconsistent with Pate’s repeated praise of Schultz’s “good stewardship” in office. Not only has Pate failed to distance himself from Schultz’s partisan tenure, when Pate spoke before the Conservative Des Moines Breakfast Club, Pate assured those in attendance he intended to continue Schultz’s partisan agenda.
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