Iowa Public Television

 

Matt Strawn, Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa

posted on September 18, 2009

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Borg: A matter of principal. Eyeing election 2010 Iowa's republicans and democrats are organizing to make a statement. We're discussing policy and politics with the Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn on this edition of Iowa Press.

Funding for Iowa Press was provided by Friends, the Iowa Public Television Foundation. The Iowa Bankers Association ... for personal, business and commercial needs Iowa banks help Iowans reach their financial goals.

On statewide Iowa Public Television this is the Friday, September 18th edition of Iowa Press. Here is Dean Borg.

Borg: Iowa's primary elections are still nine months away, fourteen months until the 2010 general election. But that is calendar time. On the political clock it's getting late. For that reason, this weekend and next, we're focusing on state party politics. Next weekend we'll be talking with the state Democratic Party Chairman, Michael Kiernan. Today, a conversation with Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn. Chairman Strawn, welcome back to Iowa Press.

Strawn: Thanks, great to be here Dean.

Borg: Across the table I think two people you know, Associated Press Senior Political Writer Mike Glover and Radio Iowa News Director Kay Henderson.

Glover: Chairman Strawn, let's step back and look at the big picture. About fifteen years ago this was a pretty republican state, you had a republican governor, republican legislature, solid edge in voter registration. All that is reversed now. What went wrong?

Strawn: Well, I'm not going to speculate as to what went wrong. I need to talk about what we're going to do right, what we're looking for, for the future of the Republican Party. If we're going to start easing into that registration that the democrats currently enjoy we need to make sure we're going out there with those independent and disaffected democrats with our principled solutions as a republican party and our republican candidates are going to do to improve the lives of Iowans.

Glover: Is it just a cyclical thing? Is this a long-term trend?

Strawn: Well, this is what I inherited when I took over the party nearly eight months ago is that we need to rebuild the party infrastructure precinct by precinct, county by county. In that eight months I've already been to over 50 counties, tens of thousands of miles on my vehicle talking to republican activists all across the state and that is the rebuilding process that is going on in the Republican Party right now.

Glover: What sorts of things do you have to do specifically to rebuild?

Strawn: Well, to rebuild we need to make sure that Iowans understand that we have principled solutions for any challenges they face and we need to make sure that we have candidates that are out there talking about republican solutions. Now, certainly we're going to spend our time as party chairman, as our candidates making sure Iowans understand that this state has the problems it does because of the fiscal mismanagement of Governor Chet Culver and the lack of leadership we've seen. But we also need to make sure as republicans that we're going out there and showing our vision for how we improve the lives of Iowans.

Borg: Back to Mike's what went wrong, though, you said have to rebuild. What does that mean? Where did all the people go? Why do you have to rebuild?

Strawn: Well, I think that's a natural consequence when you're out of power quite frankly. We're seeing that happen at the national stage now with the Republican Party, we're searching for who that national voice is, who that national leader is. Here in the state when you don't control the governor's office you often have to search for who that party leader is. So, because of that you've had a party infrastructure that has atrophied, individual candidates right, wrong or indifferent are running their own campaigns to make sure they get themselves elected, we have a party infrastructure that really has atrophied.

Glover: Has the party been mismanaged in the past then?

Strawn: Well, I'm not suggesting that certainly. I can't focus on looking backwards, Mike, I need to be looking forward to winning elections for republicans statewide at all levels.

Henderson: Let's look back to the past weekend to June. You had Michael Reagan come in, a well known voice in Republican Party politics and articulate a message about his father's philosophy that if you agree with someone 80% of the time but 20% of the time you don't still welcome them into the tent. In June you had Haley Barbour here, the Mississippi governor who basically delivered the same message. That message is not well received by many republicans. Are you trying to tell republicans in Iowa something by bringing in those national voices?

Strawn: Well, that's an interesting question, Kay. I hear it when I talk to our friends in the media and I hear the democrats trying to paint the Republican Party as a party that is fractured and I'm not seeing it. There isn't anyone in this state that is talking to more republicans right now than I am. Let me give you a couple of examples. Look at that special election we had down in Fairfield a couple of weeks ago. We had republicans from all across the ideological spectrum down there trying to help Steve Burgmaier get elected. Just in my time as chairman we've actually had two special elections to fill vacancies on our state central committee. Historically those inter-party fights are often down ideological lines, that hasn't been the case either. We filled those two seats in the last eight months with women who are talking about a republican vision for how we start winning elections again. So, as I go around the state I'm not sensing that, Kay.

Henderson: I talk to republicans who are upset with the RINOs, republicans in name only, and they would like to purge them from the party. Are you trying to send those folks a message by bringing in people like Michael Reagan and Haley Barbour to tell an opposite message to the party?

Strawn: Well, that's one thing in Iowa given our unique status nationally as the first in the nation primary we see a first in the nation caucus, we see a lot of national leaders come to Iowa to share their vision for where the republican party needs to go. You cited Haley Barbour and Michael Reagan as two examples, we also has Congressman Mike Pence from Indiana who has a very different message for republicans. We're going to bring those republicans into this state and we're going to have them talk to republicans about where they think the party needs to go. Michael Reagan's comments speak for Michael Reagan, they don't necessarily speak for Matt Strawn, they don't necessarily speak for the 17 members of our state central committee. I think republican voters are intelligent enough to understand that.

Henderson: Give me the name of a prominent moderate republican.

Strawn: A prominent moderate republican, I know there's two in the senate from Maine. An Iowa prominent moderate republican in Iowa, most certainly Joy Corning who was a former lieutenant governor for Terry Branstad.

Henderson: Who was vilified recently by Bob Vander Plaats, a republican candidate for governor, who said she would never have been on his ticket as a running mate because of her stand on abortion.

Strawn: You asked me the name of a prominent republican moderate and I think Joy certainly fits that bill.

Glover: You mentioned the caucuses in 2012. One of the suggestions that has been made to me is one of the biggest dangers to Iowa's lead off role in the presidential nominating season is the rightward drift of the republican party in this state, that any presidential candidate of any kind of moderation would have a built in excuse to skip past Iowa, specifically Mitt Romney who ran last time, some of his people say they don't know if he'll run again but if he runs again he won't be in Iowa because of the rightward drift of the party. Is that a danger?

Strawn: Well, I think each of those individual candidates need to make those decisions for themselves. They would skip Iowa at their own peril. I don't think you can look at past elections as necessarily predictors of what will happen in the future. I think you run the campaign at your own peril. If you come here as a candidate that wants to run for president you need to appeal to a wide range of republicans to be successful in our caucus process. So, the electorate that we had in 2008 isn't necessarily the electorate that we'll have in 2012.

Glover: John McCain essentially skipped Iowa's caucuses in the last cycle and got the nomination. Isn't that some kind of a signal?

Strawn: Well, again, it depends on what those candidates, what their message is to republicans and what they want to run on.

Glover: Just today you and the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party got a letter from leading Jewish groups protesting your decision to hold the 2010 caucuses on a Saturday saying that disenfranchises Jewish voters. How do you respond to that?

Strawn: Well, the caucuses are one are in which the parties do work together. Republicans and democrats alike have to ensure that Iowa protects its first in the nation status and one thing that we need to do is we need to make sure that we're involving as many people in the process as possible. That is a decision that Chairman Kiernan and I made together that we want to make sure those folks that have working concerns, that have family concerns, have the ability to participate in the process. So, we decided in the non-presidential year as an experiment we will try a caucus on a Saturday.

Glover: Do the Jewish people have a point?

Strawn: We'll be in discussions with them. I was in receipt of that letter yesterday so I'm sure Chairman Kiernan and I will talk further on this issue. But the point of the matter is we need to make sure that we are holding our caucus date on a date with the most participation.

Borg: Speaking of the caucuses, during the last caucus a lot of young voters came into the process. They went to the Democratic Party because there was energy there in the Obama campaign and others and you yourself really in the conversation here have acknowledged the democratic registration edge now in Iowa. What is the strategy for the Republican Party and your leadership to convert these young voters, future contributors, future party workers to republicans?

Strawn: Especially being someone that hopefully still considers himself a young voter at 35 trying to get more of my peers and other individuals to see that we have philosophies and solutions for the challenges in their lives. Part of that is just starting to talk to them and I've talked at length since I've been chairman about using new communications, technologies to communicate with those voters. We also need to make sure that we're talking about the issues they care about and right now it's making sure that they have, quite frankly, jobs, opportunities for them when they graduate from college to stay here in Iowa. Those are some of the issues that we're going to talk about. In this state it's really interesting, Obama obviously a large part of his victory was due to the young vote. When we look at the latest survey numbers in this state in August Governor Chet Culver's approval rating with 18 to 34 year olds is only 31%. So, the notion that that is a block of voters that are going to stay reliably democrat for Chet Culver and democrats in this state in the 2010 elections I would take issue with that.

Glover: How badly did republicans shoot themselves in the foot by their response to the speech President Obama gave to Congress?

Strawn: My disappointment with that obviously with the actions of one individual I think the focus on that took away from what I think was a very important moment in that speech and that is when President Obama refused to allow the public option. What we saw happen all across this state and all across Iowa during August was a public that stood up and said we do not want the public competing with private industry on insurance. We do not want the government coming between myself and my doctor. We don't want the government penalizing the small business that provides my insurance coverage to the fact that maybe I will lose it and have to go to a public option. So, when the President didn't take that option off the table, think about it, there are even 44 house democrats that are on record opposing the public option, unfortunately none of them happen to be Iowa democrats, the President essentially told those 44 democrats and all those citizens that were turning out to these town hall meetings I think we're going to go this alone, I think it's going to be a partisan fight and we're going to let Nancy Pelosi draft the bill.

Henderson: You mentioned those August town hall meetings. What tangible has your party in Iowa gained from them? Have you registered voters at those events? Have you gained candidates for the legislature?

Strawn: It's interesting, what happened here in August it goes much broader than just the health care town halls. What we really saw was a manifestation of what has been happening in this state and across the country over the better part of the last ten months. Going back to the financial services bail outs of last fall, going to the $800 billion stimulus package that hasn't stimulated anything other than the deficit to the federal government firing the CEOs of private corporations to the federal government giving UAW 40% share of Chrysler to the administration and liberals in Congress pursuing a cap and trade policy that would limit what kind of light bulbs people can have in their homes and would devastate Iowa's ag economy and then on top of that is this plan with the public option that could potentially put the federal government in charge of 17% of this nation's economy. So, that is the frustration we see and it isn't, it's really interesting, it isn't just republicans, it isn't just independents that are showing up to these town hall meetings, these rallies, these tea parties, they are disaffected democrats.

Glover: What do you say to polls that I have seen as recently as this week that after all that sound and noise and fury and shouting and all that during August two-thirds of the American people say they want health care reform?

Strawn: Well, that's the important part that republicans need to realize as well. Just being the angriest guy in the room is not effective. Yes, we need to make sure that we're principled and stand up to the things that we oppose in that legislation but we also need to make sure as republicans and republican candidates we're talking about what we would do for the voters in this state. For example, whether it's making sure that you're not denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, republicans agree with that, republicans agree that you should be able to take your health care coverage from job to job and not feel trapped in a job solely because of health insurance policies.

Glover: Are republicans running a risk here? If two-thirds of the American people want health care reform, whatever that means, if republicans are seeing as a party that torpedoed that aren't you running a political risk?

Strawn: I think one thing, we've got to take a look at what Senator Charles Grassley did on the issue actually. He stopped and said we need to scale this thing down. You look at what happened all across this country during August, had Senator Grassley not stood up and said let's take a deep breath, let's actually have legislators read this bill and know what's in there, you wouldn't have seen any of that kind of fury you referenced, Mike. Now, you do run a risk if you just say absolutely not because people do need accessible, affordable health care but it has to be done in a way that doesn't blow a hole in our deficit, it has to be done in a way that doesn't put the government between the doctor patient decisions, it has to be done in a way that doesn't impair coverage that people already enjoy from their small business employers.

Glover: Let's turn to another issue that is bedeviling the Republican Party in this state right now. You have a pretty big field of republican candidates running for governor but that field, in all accounts, is now frozen because there's a former four-term governor who has said he's thinking about it. How long can you let that field be frozen without doing yourself political damage?

Strawn: Well, I've been very clear on this, I think a competitive, robust primary for governor is a good thing for the Republican Party.

Glover: Why?

Strawn: Well, because we're out there talking about what our vision is for improving the lives of Iowans. We talked earlier about the voter registration disadvantage that exists for republicans in Iowa. How do we improve that? By getting more people to participate in our primary next June. How do we do that? We have candidates going across the state sharing their vision for improving the lives of Iowans, bringing new activists on board, bringing new volunteers on board, bringing people to the process who will vote next June and have to register as republicans to have a say in who our nominee is.

Borg: Back to Mike's question on hasn't the frozen Branstad indecision now, what damage is that doing?

Strawn: I don't see any as I go across the state to be candid with you. I'm at these events two, three nights a week and party organizations and the six individuals that are currently at various states of running for governor are at these events, they're showing their vision for the state, they're putting their networks together, they are recruiting activists.

Glover: But as a state party would you like to see that issue resolved sooner rather than later?

Strawn: Yes, but that will happen in the natural course of the primary, Mike.

Glover: So, it's not causing you any problems at all?

Strawn: Not right now, no.

Glover: I met with some of Governor Culver's campaign staff and he's a long way down the path towards putting together the field organization, the money, all that kind of stuff. Aren't you risking letting a sitting governor get ahead of you?

Strawn: Well, you have to understand how we're conducting ourselves with the republican party of Iowa. Our candidates are out there building their own individual networks for their primary campaign. It's my job at the Republican Party to build a network that they can plug into when we have a nominee that first Wednesday in June and that's what we're doing when I talk about rebuilding the party precinct by precinct, county by county. It's all in preparation for the 2010 gubernatorial fight and the local legislative races that will determine control of the legislature. So, we're building the apparatus that our candidate is going to be able to plug into on Wednesday. That's what we're doing.

Henderson: The other part of your life, you're involved in some football team, I'll just ask this question, is Terry Brandstad the Brett Farve of Iowa politics?

Strawn: That's not for me to speculate on. The governor has every right to make his decision whether he is going to run again and he has every right to make it on his timetable.

Henderson: Brett Farve is hated by many for vacillating on retirement so many times. Terry Branstad had 16 years in office, he had his time. You have people like Ron Corbit, Steve Grubbs who talked about the glass ceiling a couple of decades ago because people like Terry Branstad and Chuck Grassley would not move aside and let others run.

Strawn: The republican primary voters decide if the governor ultimately decides to get in the race. When we look to the future of the Republican Party I'm very optimistic about where we're going. You referenced an event we had earlier this spring with Haley Barbour here. The pretense for that night was actually Night of the Rising Stars showcasing those republican legislators that are 35 and under or in their first term. We have got a vibrant group of young, republican legislators in this state, a vibrant group of young republicans running for school board, city council offices, yes they are non-partisan offices but they are people that are running as republicans and I think that's where we build the bench from.

Henderson: So, how does that sit with the top of the ticket with Chuck Grassley and Terry Branstad?

Strawn: It's the ideas they talk about, it's sharing a vision for the future of this state. I don't think you describe a person's age and say that means their ideas are old. It brings fresh ideas. Everybody is going to have to share their vision for where they want to take this state that runs for governor.

Glover: Let's go back to Chuck Grassley, you mentioned him earlier and the role he is playing in the nation's health care debate which is obviously a fairly heavy role. Does Chuck Grassley run a danger of alienating the conservative wing of his own party if he gets too deeply involved in negotiations with congressional democrats?

Strawn: Well, what I hear from a lot of republicans they're real pleased with the role that Chuck Grassley played in slowing down the health care debate, making sure that we had an opportunity to actually have this discussion throughout the month of August. I think Senator Grassley did himself a wonderful service to all Iowans by his town hall schedule he did in August, giving every Iowan an opportunity to come and hear his take on health care reform and ask him honest questions.

Glover: Should he continue to negotiate with congressional democrats?

Strawn: Well, so long as the reforms meet where we think they need to go but if it's going to be a public option, absolutely not.

Glover: I don't see any big name democrat out there running against him. Help me out here. Have you heard any?

Strawn: Not as of yet. I'm not on their speed dial, Mike, so you'll have to forgive me. I've heard a lot rumored but certainly haven't seen any and I think that tells you about the kind of leadership that Chuck Grassley has provided the state over the years, the fact that the democrats don't have a bench either to challenge him.

Glover: Is there a danger of a primary for the republicans on the right?

Strawn: I haven't seen it yet, Mike.

Henderson: Let's turn to legislative races. Since you've been on the program in the spring there was a legislative race in Iowa that was billed as a dull weather. Republicans lost it. What went wrong?

Strawn: We did and I'm not going to make any apologies, I'm disappointed we didn't win the race. What I'm not disappointed in is making sure that we made it a priority. As I talk about changing the culture of the republican party of Iowa we need to change it into a culture of success, a culture that expects to win races. You referenced my football background. In my business if I'm interviewing a head coach and he comes in and says, yeah, I want to win a few games and maybe we'll make the playoffs I'm going to show that guy a door. It's my job to put a championship team on the field and give a championship product to the people of Des Moines. Running the party is no different. We need to win the governor's office, we need to win a legislative majority. Are we going to go 16-0 and win a championship every year? Probably not. The same applies to politics but as disappointed as I am that we didn't win that race let me tell you what I'm not disappointed in. I'm not disappointed in the effort I saw on the ground. I saw republicans coming statewide to come help out whether it was knocking doors, whether it was writing checks, I saw people working together. We tried new technologies actually with our voter program, with our poll watching, things that we'll employ in the general election that make me very optimistic. We need to remember it is a district that Chet Culver got 55% in, in 2006.

Glover: So, did you make a mistake by making it such a high profile race? I heard republicans say this is the beginning of our comeback, we're going to show you what we can do here. Did you make a mistake by overselling it?

Strawn: I will never apologize for having high expectations for republicans. We as a party have to expect to win elections if we're going to win elections.

Glover: Let's go to the legislature, the senate is 32-18, how many election cycles will it take before you get back in power there?

Strawn: Well, the good news is there's 19 democrat seats that have to be defended this cycle and we're going on offense in all of them and the 6 republican seats that are actually in play are very solid seats, very solid incumbents so I'm confident that we're going to be able to make tremendous gains in the 2010 cycle. Now going forward it's tough to answer that question because as you know in 2012 we'll be dealing with a new set of lines. So, I think that does provide -- if we can make solid gains in 2010, come close to winning the majority back, you never know with the right wind at our back and a good set of candidates we can pull that off as well. It's not unheard of to pull that off in this state.

Henderson: Let's go back to the legislative race in house district 90. You were beat by absentee ballots many people say. Have you as a party kicked your hangover about absentee voting and have you as a party embraced it from top to bottom?

Strawn: Well, back to this debate on absentee voting. It is not as important how people vote as who votes. As a party what we still need to do a better job of is going and talking to those independent voters and even those disaffected democrats with our solutions for their lives. It's really interesting in a district like this, take Kurt Hansen and the democrat's campaign, it was nearly indistinguishable from Steve Burgmaier's campaign. He ran on a record that was against the spinning coming out of Des Moines, he ran on a platform that he was actually supportive of giving Iowans a vote on the constitutional amendment on marriage, virtually indistinguishable from our republican candidate. So, when we're talking about the 2010 races Kurt Hansen had something that those other 55 democrats didn't have, a record, and that's what we're going to hold those folks accountable for.

Glover: Republican strategists have said, they have told me that you can't continue winning on election day and losing because of absentee ballots and that's what has happened in the last couple of election cycles.

Strawn: It is, Mike, and the analogy I've used, I have to keep going back to my profession but the points you score in the first quarter aren't rated any different than the points you score in the fourth quarter. The point is you have to play the whole game to win. We have to do a better job as a party in the general election especially in embracing satellite voting, in embracing absentee programs to bring new voters, new votes to the republican column. It doesn't do us any good for me to waste resources in moving a known republican Election Day voter to an early voter. We just waste a ton of resources and we haven't netted any new votes. So, the voter programs that we're putting together ...

Glover: A lot of democrats will say gee I hope they keep making because we're going out and getting voters absentee who won't show up on Election Day.

Strawn: But we need to get those new net votes. If we're not netting new votes it is a waste of resources so as a republican party that's what we're focused on. We're focused on netting new votes, talking to those independent, disaffected democrats with our solutions.

Borg: As you try to do that, as you try to win people into the party, those disaffected democrats and independents, how badly are you hurt by the tag that is continually hung on you right now, a party of no, no on health care, no on this, that and spending in Iowa and bonding for getting Iowa out of a recession and so on? It seems to me to be a negative tag that is hard to overcome if you don't have positive ideas.

Strawn: I'm a parent, I've got two young children, a four year old and a two year old and sometimes the responsible thing as a parent is you have to say no. The other day when my son came downstairs and wanted to have cookies for breakfast I had to tell him no. Why? Because it wasn't good for him. The same thing is happening with that legislature. We've got a republican caucus that had to repeatedly say no to a plan that, listen, we know that we have 100,000 Iowans that are looking for work, you don't create new jobs by heaping generational debt on our children. As a party we just can't be against things, we just can't be the only guy in the room, we have to show our solutions. Both Kay and Mike were at an event we had at the party earlier this week with house and senate leaders talking about the republican public education reform plan that we have. A couple of weeks before that I sat with Senator Steve Kettering and Representative Scott Raecker at the state fair talking about republican budget reforms. Next week I'm going to be touring the state with republican Upmeyer and senate leader, assistant leader Dave Johnson talking about our state health reform initiatives. If Iowa republicans are going to regain the trust of the voters in this state we need to make sure that they don't only understand why Chet Culver and the democrats have failed them but they also need to understand that our solutions are improving their lives.

Glover: Give us your take on the senate. The house is much closer 56-44. What are your chances of actually taking control of the house in the next election cycle?

Strawn: I think our chances are great, Mike, and let me tell you why. Earlier this week I had the opportunity Craig Paulsen had a group of his top recruits in, had a chance to talk to him, these are dynamic individuals, these are the people and every community in this state there are those people you go to when you really want to get something done, those are the folks stepping up to run for office as republicans. More importantly when we talked about the house district 90 race I referenced the fact that Kurt Hansen essentially ran on a republican platform to win that race. Now, what he didn't have that those other democrat incumbents do have is a record. If you're a Larry Merrick, if you're a Roger Wendt, what record are you running on? You're running on the fact that you voted for the largest budget the state has ever seen, you voted for a record of generational debt on our state's children, you're running on a record of standing in the way of Iowans actually having a vote for themselves on marriage.

Glover: You made a passing reference to new lines, the legislature that is elected next year will draw new congressional districts and new legislative district lines, it will be important on the congressional level because we'll probably lose a seat in congress.

Strawn: Unfortunately.

Glover: How important is that next set of legislative elections? How critical is it that republicans get control of at least one chamber?

Strawn: Well, I think it's vital but for the people of Iowa having control of the legislative chamber, control of the governor's office changes the direction of this state. It isn't about political partisan advantage for drawing lines, it's about improving the lives of Iowans, it's about employing more Iowans by empowering small businesses and entrepreneurs, it's about sound, competent budgeting practices, it's about giving Iowans the right to choose for themselves how we want to define marriage as a state. That's what is at stake with the majority we're going to elect, it isn't about partisan lines.

Henderson: Speaking of marriage you have at least one republican candidate who says the 2010 election will be a referendum on gay marriage. Do you agree?

Strawn: I think it's going to be one of the issues that will be out there.

Henderson: But won't it be a referendum though?

Strawn: It depends on what motivates that particular voter and I don't see that we're going to have a single issue election. Voters go to the polls for different reasons and our candidates need to make sure that they are talking to the voters on the issues that voters care about. For those voters that are motivated by the marriage issue, you bet, there's one party that is going to give Iowans the right for themselves how to define marriage, that's republicans. For those voters that believe that small businesses, that entrepreneurs create jobs and not the government there's a party for you, vote for republicans.

Glover: How do you tell somebody whose house is being foreclosed and who has lost their job they should worry about who their neighbor is sleeping with?

Strawn: Well, I was just talking about we need to make sure we have relevant solutions for the things voters care about. That voter wants to know that we have solutions for improving the economy. We do have solutions for improving the economy. It's reducing taxes, it's reducing regulatory burdens on small businesses who create two-thirds of the jobs in this state and a successful candidate is going to be able to talk about all of those issues that are relevant to Iowa voters.

Glover: Message or mechanics, which is it?

Strawn: Well, it's both. You can't have the proper mechanics if you don't have the proper message. If you're not motivating voters to turn out for you, if you're not motivating people to volunteer, if you're not motivating people to write checks you can't have any of the mechanics you need to be a successful candidate.

Borg: We're going to give your counterpart the option next week of coming back, he gets the advantage of following you.

Strawn: I'm just glad he's coming.

Borg: Thanks for spending time with us.

Strawn: Great to be here, Dean.

Borg: Thank you. As I said earlier, next week we're going to get the democratic perspective from State Chairman Michael Kiernan and you'll see our conversation with Chairman Kiernan at the regular Iowa Press airtimes, 7:30 Friday night and 11:30 Sunday morning. I'm Dean Borg. Thanks for joining us today.

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