Iowa GOP Chair Kaufmann Plans Aggressive Outreach to Trump Voters

Dec 5, 2016

Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann says he will seek another term after leading his party to major victories in the 2016 election.

Iowa's top Republicans, including Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst, Governor Branstad, and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds, wrote Kaufmann a letter Friday, asking him to stay on as the party's chairman.

No one else has emerged to challenge Kaufmann, so it's likely he'll be re-elected January 28th when the Iowa GOP's state central committee meets.

I'm not so sure they're in love with the Republican Party

Kaufmann stepped into the role of party leader in July of 2014 when fundraising had dried up and a major U.S. senate race was just heating up.

Under his leadership, Iowa overwhelmingly approved Donald Trump for President and handed control of the Iowa Senate to the GOP.

Kaufmann is pledging to fight complacency within the party after the 2016 triumph.

"Outreach would probably be the most important job I have to do in the next year," Kaufmann says.

Kaufmann's promising an aggressive tour of the state in 2017 to meet with what he refers to as new Republicans.

"I think they like the Republican Party,” Kaufmann says. “I'm not so sure they're in love with the Republican Party."

I want them to think of the Republican Party as not a vacation spot but a home

Donald Trump won 93 of Iowa's 99 counties. Thirty-two of those counties had voted for Barack Obama twice.  

Dubuque County hadn't voted for a Republican since 1956.

Kaufmann is not taking the voters’ continued support in the future for granted.

"I want them to think of the Republican Party as not a vacation spot, but a home," Kaufmann says.

Iowa Democrats will be electing a new leader next month.

Seven candidates are seeking the post, including former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs, who lost his re-election bid last month.

All seven candidates will be given a chance to speak at the Iowa Democratic Party's state central committee meeting December 17th.