A.J. SpikerThe Iowa Republican State Central Committee voted in Ames businessman and current State Central Committee Member to finish Matt Strawn’s term which is up January, 2013.  He narrowly defeated co-chair Bill Schickel on a 9-8 vote.  Dave Funk, current Polk County Republican Co-Chair also threw his hat in the ring.

Schickel was to take over as interim chair until a new chair was elected.  Strawn who announced his resignation on January 31 officially stepped down on Friday.  So the election happened pretty fast, but that isn’t much of a surprise.  In the official Iowa GOP statement, A.J. Spiker said:

I am honored to be elected by my colleagues on the Committee and look forward to serving as Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. I will work diligently with fellow Republicans across the state to energize voters and work to elect our candidates.

Spiker along with State Central Committee members Drew Ivers and David Fischer were the Iowa co-chairs for Ron Paul’s presidential campaign.  State Central Committee members Jeremiah Johnson and James Mills were also supporters of Ron Paul.  This brings up an interesting question, and one I’ll pose to A.J. when I get a chance.  Will he remain neutral in contested primaries?  Also, if Ron Paul decides to run as a 3rd Party candidate which he hasn’t ruled out what will he do?

Matt Strawn did an excellent job maintaining neutrality and staying out of contested primaries and stayed neutral throughout the Caucus.  He helped to turn the Iowa Republican Party around so Spiker has some big shoes to fill.  I’ve had a chance to meet A.J., and from what I’ve heard he’s a top shelf guy so I’m sure he’ll do well.  With what is left of his term his two primary responsibilities are fundraising and spearheading a get out the vote effort for all Republican candidates in the fall.  Not as glamorous as being the Chair during the Ames Straw Poll and the Iowa Caucus, but vitally important.

Congratulations to  Chairman Spiker and best of luck to you as you lead the party forward.

Photo by Gage Skidmore

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