(Des Moines, IA) The Republican Party of Iowa has assembled a team of experienced fundraisers and respected business leaders to replenish the party’s coffers as it strengthens its operations in advance of the 2014 midterm elections.
Mark Jacobs, a retired energy executive and West Des Moines businessman, and Cam Sutton, a retired insurance executive and board member of the Heritage Foundation, will serve as co-chairs of RPI’s finance team.
“When the party’s state central committee elected me chairman in late June, I promised to raise $300,000 by September,” said Jeff Kaufmann, the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. “I can’t do it alone, and this dynamic team is already working hard to raise the resources necessary for the Iowa GOP to run a cutting edge GOTV program, communicate our message and elect our Republican candidates in the midterm elections.”
“I am 100 percent committed to helping Iowa Republicans up-and-down the ticket this fall. It is critical that Republicans band together and raise the resources necessary to run competitive campaigns,” Jacobs said. “Iowa families and business cannot afford to have liberal trial lawyer Bruce Braley in the U.S. Senate, and I will work tirelessly to ensure that state Sen. and Lt. Col. Joni Ernst has the full force of a resurgent Iowa GOP backing her up.”
Jacobs is a successful businessman and a life-long Republican. He previously served as president and CEO of Reliant Energy, a Fortune 500 electric power company. During Jacobs’ tenure at Reliant Energy, he played an integral role in the turnaround of the company. He recently ran for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.
Jacobs founded Reaching Higher Iowa, an organization committed to making Iowa schools the best in the nation once again. He also taught a capstone business strategy class to graduating seniors at Iowa State University.
Mark graduated from Roosevelt High School in Des Moines in 1980. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University and an MBA from Northwestern University. Mark and his wife, Janet, have three children: Clark, Christy, and Sam. The family resides in West Des Moines.
Sutton, a well-known Des Moines insurance executive, has served as co-chairman of the Robb Kelley Club, a political fundraising group dedicated to helping promote conservative policies and ideas to benefit the Polk County Republican Party.
Since retiring, Sutton has channeled his energies on behalf of the Heritage Foundation to formulate and promote conservative public policies, as well as helping conservative candidates at both the state and federal level. Sutton holds a law degree, is a Certified Life Underwriter, an active member of many insurance industry groups, and former trustee for the National Association of Life Underwriters. He has held senior executive positions with Alexander & Alexander, AON. Sutton retired as President and CEO of ARAG Insurance Company of Des Moines in December 2010.
Jennifer Asa returns to the Republican Party of Iowa as finance director after several years as a successful fundraiser in the private sector. Most recently, Asa worked as director of the Iowa Newspaper Foundation for eight years. Asa was the deputy finance director at the Republican Party of Iowa from 1999-2001 during the administration of Kayne Robinson.
Darrell Kearney rejoins the Republican Party of Iowa as a fundraising consultant. Kearney is a veteran Republican activist and one of the state’s most successful political fundraisers, serving past stints as finance director for the Republican Party of Iowa and the Republican Party of Polk County. Kearney worked for Ronald Reagan’s campaign in 1980 and for Jack Kemp in 1988. He was Bob Dole’s Iowa Caucus campaign manager in 1996.