This afternoon newly seated State Central Committee member and former State Representative Jeff Kaufmann officially sent an email to the other members of the State Central Committee of his intent to run for Republican Party of Iowa Chair. Kaufmann was one of the 14 State Central Committee members who signed a letter calling for an election of a new chair and new co-chair.
His announcement comes as no surprise as activists have been speculating about this since last week. Here is the email:
Members of the State Central Committee:
I am officially announcing my intention to run for Chairperson of the Republican Party of Iowa. I appreciate the encouragement I have had to run, and I am also grateful for the strong support from the Second District to become a member of the State Central Committee in April. In my effort to become a member of the State Central Committee, I had the unqualified support of all 53 members of the Iowa House of Representatives as well as many other state, local, and federal officeholders. Most importantly it is the grassroots support I value most and they are my reason for running for the SCC and as Chair.
I live in Cedar County with my wife, Vicki, of nearly 30 years. We have three sons: Bobby is now a State Representative and lives in the original family home near Wilton. Jacob is a junior at the University of Iowa, and our youngest son, John, is a University of Iowa student and current State Chair of the Iowa Federation of College Republicans.
I am a Seventh Generation livestock farmer in Cedar County/Wilton. I am also an instructor and Department Chair at Muscatine Community College where I teach History and Government.
I was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives in 2004 in one of the most expensive and active races in Iowa that cycle. I represented a true swing district and during half of my time in the Legislature, the District had more Democrats than Republicans. My extensive experience and current roles in local politics will also help me to understand the dynamics and importance of party politics at the precinct and county level.
I was a leader in the House for six years (Assistant Minority Leader and then Speaker Pro Tem). I was part of the 2010 campaign that brought 60 House members into the chamber. I have an extensive record of conservative voting, candidate recruitment, voter education, campaign strategizing, fundraising, and stump speaking for well over 70 Republican candidates.
I am running for Chairperson for a variety of reasons. Some of my major goals include:
(1) Fundraising levels have not been acceptable. This must change and will change.
(2) I also believe that the State Central Committee is not a clearing house for any one candidate or interest group. It should be the vehicle where grass roots Republicans help Republicans get elected to office. It is the job of the State Central Committee to translate the goals, beliefs, and issues of Iowa Republicans to a statewide platform and a party where we expand our base without sacrificing principle.
(3) I believe both our staffing at RPI headquarters and in the field must increase and be enhanced in order to win elections in the fall. This could possibly include satellite offices in eastern and western Iowa.
(4) We MUST expand the party. Young people, Hispanic Iowans, African Americans, conservative union members, conservative teachers…we must fight for new members and not cede any population as belonging to the Democratic Party alone.
(5) Adopt a more aggressive communications posture centered on promoting Republican candidates as well as communication to our District and county committees.
(6) Establish a more aggressive Voter Contact operation centered on volunteer recruitment as well as promotion of our candidates and policies to No Party voters.
The leaders of the Republican Party must act in accordance of what is best for the party and not a personal interest or promotion of a particular candidate or interest group. I enter this race without a personal axe to grind or issue to promote. I want our Republican party to grow stronger and energized in this State.
The general principles of the Republican Party platform emphasize smaller government, individual freedom, the sanctity of life, economic growth, and the basic belief in the ability of all Iowans to make this state great. Condescension, negativity, and fear do not expand, they contract. And yes we can be both positive and principled.
I have appreciated the conversations I have had with many of you, some quite extensive. I look forward to working with you to elect Republicans in the fall of 2014 and 2016. I respectfully ask for your vote this Saturday for Chairperson of RPI. I am convinced, if I have the honor of serving as Chair, that I will be surrounded with an outstanding committee of conservative Republicans with talent, experience, and principled values.