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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.

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11 comments
  1. Gimme a break. Mark Jacobs was born and raised in Iowa. And no one has the background and experience in business he does.

    1. Yes he was born and raised in Iowa, so was David Young…. How many years ago was that? Look you may not think it’s a problem, but I hear differently. It is a problem with some people.
      This article said nothing about his business acumen. That is obviously a strength. That obviously matters to you, with other Iowans it may not.
      Matt Whitaker has small business experience and is an entrepreneur. More Iowans would probably relate to that.
      The larger point of this article is that there are no front runners.

  2. I agree with Jim. Mark Jacobs has unparalleled business experience and isn’t running as a politician, he’s a business man. We need new, fresh leadership in Washington, not the same gridlock and political games we’ve seen in recent years.

  3. Mark Jacobs is an experienced businessman that would be great for Iowa if elected. Voter registration in another state is definitely a non-issue here.

    1. Why is it we think CEOs make the best candidates? Just curious. In this race we have a college professor with national security experience who holds a PhD in public administration, a battalion commander who is a State Senator and has been a county auditor, and a former U.S. attorney who is a small business owner and entrepreneur. They all have impressive experience so why does the CEO trump them all, especially in the role of a legislator? If this were an executive position then I think you’d make a stronger point.

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