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On April 23, delegates to the District Republican conventions will gather at four locations across Iowa to consider platforms, rules, and select leadership for the party going forward.  It sounds like a day spent in a large convention hall with an average quality boxed lunch with like-minded individuals but there’s more than meets the eye.

The leadership of the Republican Party of Iowa is critical in the cultivation of future patriots and conservatives.  It sounds simple but as I’ve spoken to fellow Republicans there’s more at stake as it’s obvious the party has some divide when it comes to the Party platform and how Republican legislators have voted and interpreted legislation in the soon-to-end session.

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As I write this piece the legislature is supposed to be entering the home stretch but my sources and colleagues in politics aren’t certain that this week will not be the conclusion of the session.  With doubts of Sine Die occurring this week, I believe it leaves an opening for a couple of different groups.

First, delegates to the district convention.  The delegates to the convention are typically your heavily engaged and staunch Republicans that have been part of the system for a while.  These delegates started at the caucuses and were then selected to represent their county at the district conventions.  Without Sine Die occurring this week, these delegates will get the ears of current Representatives and Senators.  This could be a critical time for these delegates to push the matters that seem to be thwarting the end of the session.  Delegates invested thus far will see platforms that include planks that support private property rights, medical freedom, removing obscene materials from schools, and educational savings accounts.  None of these items has been fully considered and the sentiment is that legislators of the Republican Party should adhere to the party platform or potentially find a different party or look at one of the primary challengers to fulfill the commitment to Iowa Republicans.

The second group of influencers is those running for State Central Committee in the four congressional districts.  The redistricting has created some saturation of candidates in some districts pitting some long-serving central committee members in head-to-head races. Along with some familiar faces from RPI, there are some new faces challenging the status quo.   The battle for a seat at the State Central Committee table should interest delegates this weekend.  There’s a great deal of history and hard work currently serving but the amount of talent that wants to best represent and serve Iowa Republicans moving forward is inspiring to say the least.  Imagine embracing the local Turning Point USA chapters along with the Iowa Young Republicans, and College Republican groups and growing the network of the next generations of Republicans.  The days of who’s donated the most, who gave former Representative Jim Nussle a ride to the local sale barn in 1991, or who’s eaten the most Pizza Ranch with a Republican candidate isn’t what Iowa Republicans are looking for.  Iowa Republicans want the person that will mentor and grow a young man or woman into the next great leader.  We want leaders in innovation who know how to work smarter rather than harder as time is more valuable to most of us.  The younger Republicans want to see a transition from, “we’ve always done it that way” to “is there a better way to work together to solve this problem?”

Delegates will have time leading up to the conventions this coming weekend to research candidates but will also have an opportunity to hear from candidates at the convention.  If I know Republicans like I believe I do they won’t be fooled easily and the long-serving incumbents will need to sell delegates on something more than previously mentioned attributes.

I think it’s more than fair to say that the district conventions have something to offer everyone attending.  The great thing about the conventions being held is that every delegate has the same intrinsic value and the current legislators should be ears wide open and candidates hoping to serve fellow Republicans will be offering something that likely hasn’t been offered in the past.  Lastly, for the incumbent Senators and Representatives attending this is their chance to read the proposed platforms and listen a whole lot more to their constituents than they speak.

Let’s pray for constructive conversations and safe travel to and from the conventions on April 23.

 

BJ Hoffman

Hardin County Supervisor

Liscomb, Iowa

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2 COMMENTS

  1. There are many of us that are SO disappointed on a move that RPI made this year in cutting the size of the district conventions
    This move, as it was explained, was due to the problems of metro areas being unable to field enough delegates. Because of this, the rest of us that actually WANT to be a part of the process have been cut out of the process. I know that most of the Iowa metro areas like most major metro areas, are Democrat heavy but really? They cannot find enough people that want to be a part of the process? Because of this, smaller county’s such as mine lost about half of our representation in this process. I for one feel shorted.

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