Jim Mowrer, a Democrat Iraq war veteran, ran against Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District in 2014 and lost 61.6 percent to 38.3 percent. In 2016 he ran against Congressman David Young (R-Iowa) in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District and lost 53.4 percent to 39.7 percent.
Now he’s looking at running against Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, a Republican who was previously the Secretary of State between 1995-1999, he served in the Iowa Senate from 1989 to 1995 and was the mayor of Cedar Rapids from 2002 to 2006. Pate was elected Secretary of State again in 2014 after spending some time in the private sector.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports:
Charging “incredible incompetency” and disservice to Iowa voters, Jim Mowrer of Des Moines is considering challenging Secretary of State Paul Pate in 2018.
Mowrer, whose experience in conducting elections goes back to helping fellow Iowa Army National Guard members vote while in Iraq in 2006, said Pate is trying “to make it as expensive and difficult as possible.”
Mowrer, 31, a two-time Democratic candidate for the U.S. House, now works for an Iowa human services nonprofit agency and is an adjunct instructor at Grand View University in Des Moines.
In conversations with county auditors — Republicans and Democrats, he said, who oversee elections — Mowrer has heard that Pate’s office does not work well with them.
“That’s really what it’s about — working with county auditors and others to make sure our elections are as free and fair and secure as possible,” Mowrer said Friday. “Frankly, that’s not happening right now.”
In addition to voting registration and election systems, the Secretary of State’s Office business functions are out-of-date and “way behind the times compared to what other states are doing with online instant filings,” he said.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done,” Mowrer said, adding it would be similar to work he did at the Army Office of Business Transformation at the Pentagon to improve business practices.
First, at least he won’t have to move this time to run. So there’s that.
Second, Pate’s office launched an online voter registration system before the 2016 election. Was Mowrer asleep for that? For existing businesses online filing is available, and it is painless (as a small business owner with an LLC I have first-hand experience). The initial filing takes a few more steps like downloading the appropriate forms here and then filing them here. Can that be better streamlined? I’m sure, but let’s not pretend it is an onerous process. Considering they had a presidential election to handle with a new online voting registration system I’m sure that was the priority.
Third, regarding the county auditors who have complained, I am sorry if I won’t take Mowrer’s word on it. Name names.
Fourth, while I respect Mowrer’s military service, I have to wonder what mandate he thinks he has to run a statewide office when he can’t win in a Congressional district? If he wanted to serve in elected office, perhaps he should have thought about running for a local or state legislative office first.
There’s simply nothing in his resume or record that would cause me to believe he would be a competent Secretary of State.