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Editor,

In late 2021 I announced my candidacy for the newly created Iowa House District 54 located in North Central Iowa.  Attached is a letter I sent to nearly two dozen Republican legislators asking that they get behind a candidate that had like-minded views that wanted to collaborate but not always toe the line.

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As I sat in the library at the Iowa State Capitol folding and hand addressing letters I wondered if my efforts were futile or if any legislators would be brave enough to even acknowledge my request.  It turns out that a few contacted me but nobody offered anything ahead of a potentially challenged primary because of “rules”.

I see rules as a strong, “you shall not” do something, not an “I’m too scared to get behind a Christian Conservative”.  Only one strong legislator (now in his own primary) even asked about my platform.  One refused to help and said my best bet was getting support from the NRA.

Professionally my ego was beaten down and wondered if the rules were really rules.  In early March after a couple of months of prayer, a father diagnosed with cancer recently, a teenage son with health issues, and God telling me the time isn’t right, I didn’t file to run.
Fast forward ahead to April 23, 2022.  I was elected to the Republican Central Committee at my district convention as the top vote-getter and first-ballot SCC elected in CD2.  While there this subject was discussed.

Since then our Governor Kim Reynolds has boldly endorsed great challengers to incumbents.  Rep. Bobby Kaufmann has endorsed candidates.  County Co-Chairs have been out working on campaigns with candidates in challenged primaries.  Speaker Pro Temp John Wills has endorsed candidates and the list goes on and on.

What changed? Who gave the command to go against the rule and will there be any repercussions?

I believe that endorsements are strong and bold statements and those willing to offer up an endorsement no matter how wrong or right they may be. At least show they have confidence in something.  That something could always be a steaming pile of dog poop on a warm June day or it could be a grocery bag full of Iowa pork chops and sweet corn being offered in late July here in Iowa but either way let’s quit hamstringing Iowa’s leaders, mentors, and remove the ball gags from people that could influence elections in a good way by removing some unenforceable “rule” that appears to be another “good enough for thee but not for me” two-tiered system of politics.

When you silence influential people or take away the right to boldly act upon your religious or moral convictions because of a rule that obviously is nothing more than an idle threat that ultimately makes a person unwilling to hold their own principles ahead of an organization’s and that’s very concerning.

Now, go do the right thing for Iowa.

BJ Hoffman
Liscomb,Iowa

 

Letter sent to legislators:

Dear Legislator,

Rules, they help us govern and hold us to standards that may otherwise cause harm to ourselves or others.  I appreciated rules as I played sports.  I appreciated rules as I competed in professional BBQ contests.  I even appreciate Robert’s Rules of Order as I chair the Hardin County Board of Supervisors and the CICS Regional Mental Health Board.

Since announcing my candidacy the same night the redistricting maps were approved I’ve heard about rules and “unwritten” rules to the point I doubted my ambition to run for Iowa House District 54.  Recently I was graced by State Central Committee members at a meeting that explained that debunked the rules and unwritten rules that have been preached.  Both types of rules are in regard to elected officials not being able to endorse candidates ahead of a primary.  I was educated that State Central Committee members are prohibited from doing this but there are no rules to restrict an elected official from endorsing or supporting a candidate in a primary.  I thought this was very interesting as a U.S. House candidate refused to help me but in the same conversation asked me to join their coalition and film an endorsement video after just telling me they couldn’t help until after any potential primary race.

I understand nobody wants to pick the losing horse but I remember a large number of Iowa politicians supporting Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Ben Carson amongst others. Then handful of us that supported Donald Trump out of the gate and in my case actually handled credentials at Donald Trump’s announcement at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines.  After the dust settles the Cruzer’s, Ben’s Bunch, and Trumper’s all rallied together to move the Country forward.

Today, I’m asking you as a candidate, a conservative, a fiscally responsible,  and God-fearing American with a Biblical worldview for your help in securing the Republican ballot spot in Iowa House District 54.  I’d love to utilize a paragraph endorsement or short video to use in my campaign.

In closing, allowing yourself to be hogtied by an unwritten rule is disheartening to someone like me that has worked to be the representative my constituency can be proud of and would do whatever I could to help you or another leader that I believed in deep down.  Let this be the time to break away from a nonexistent rule book and work to elect hard-working and like-minded Iowans to serve.

Please let me know if you’d like to be a part of a hard-working campaign.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks for highlighting a very real problem. May you get your opportunity to run when the time IS right. And the endorsements be there. We need hope, to run and to continue to vote.

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