Criticism is being leveled at Republican Iowa U.S. Senate candidate Mark Jacobs by Joni Ernst’s campaign because Jacobs is not a registered voter in Iowa having moved back to the state over a year ago.
James Lynch at The Muscatine Journal reports:
According to current voter registration rolls in Harris County, Texas, Jacobs is registered and eligible to vote in Houston.
It should raise a red flag in the minds of Republican primary voters that Jacobs, who has lived outside of Iowa for three decades, is running for the GOP Senate nomination on “Iowa values,” but remains registered in Texas, according to the Joni Ernst for U.S. Senate campaign.
Ernst, a state senator from Red Oak, is one of seven Republicans seeking the party’s 2014 nomination for the Senate seat held by Sen. Tom Harkin, who announced his retirement earlier this year.
It’s a “non-starter,” according to Brian Dumas, campaign manager for Jacobs, who is on a church mission trip in Central America with his family.
“As far as Mark is concerned, when he registered in Iowa he said he was no longer a Texan and it became a non-issue,” Dumas said.
In my opinion the voter registration issue itself is a non-issue. Mark Jacobs is registered in Iowa and I assume he voted in school board and municipal elections since returning to the state. I would say most voters who move to the state don’t call to make sure their voter registration is canceled in the state they moved from. I didn’t do that when I voted from Indiana 11 years ago after living away from Iowa for 10 years.
It is however relevant for Iowa voters to consider how long he has lived out of state since it was for almost all of his adult life, and that is a question for David Young as well. It’s a matter of who best understands Iowans and will be the best representative for them. At least David Young can claim an additional connection to the state while living in Washington, DC due to being Senator Chuck Grassley’s chief of staff. As a result Young has spent more time in the state than Jacobs. That said, based on my conversations with grassroots activists, it will be a hurdle for both men.
The quote that leaped out at me in Lynch’s article was quote by Brian Dumas, Jacob’s campaign manager.
“Clearly they are threatened by Mark’s candidacy because he’s attracting support from across the state,” Dumas said. “They just want to tear Mark down because they view him as the frontrunner.”
While Jacobs enjoys a funding advantage because of his personal wealth that does not translate to mean he is a frontrunner. No polling has suggested that and frankly he hasn’t earned that distinction. It is simply too early to declare anybody a frontrunner among this crowded field.