Strawn to Depart as Iowa GOP Chairman

For Immediate Release:
January 31, 2012

Contact: Ryan Gough
(515) 282-8105

Des Moines, IA – Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn today announced he will be stepping down as the state’s top Iowa GOP party official, effective Friday, February 10. Strawn has served as chairman of the Iowa GOP since January 2009. The Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee will be charged with setting the date to elect Strawn’s successor.

Strawn shared his announcement with Iowa Republicans in the following video message:

The prepared text of Strawn’s message to Iowa Republicans follows below:

January 31, 2012

Dear Iowa Republican:

In December 2008, when I campaigned to serve as your Chairman, my top goal was to make the Iowa GOP a relevant force again in Iowa politics by ushering in an era where the Republican Party returned to winning elections without betraying our conservative principles.

Over the past three plus years, we succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. We witnessed sweeping Republican electoral victories at all levels. We saw an explosion in new Republican voters with an unprecedented 34 consecutive months of Iowa GOP voter registration gains. We kept the Iowa Caucuses First-in-the-Nation. We broke fundraising records, hosted the largest Republican presidential caucus in history, and for the first-time ever, the Iowa GOP co-hosted three nationally televised presidential debates that were watched by millions. Most importantly, Iowa Republicans accomplished all this and more working together as a team.

Simply put, your Iowa GOP is better off than it was four years ago thanks to outstanding team work. Your Iowa GOP is a relevant force again in Iowa politics. Your Iowa GOP is winning elections with leaders who are advancing our principled agenda. Your Iowa GOP is in a position to re-elect our members of Congress, win an Iowa Senate majority, and make Iowa’s six electoral votes the national battleground in the 2012 presidential campaign.

While the election wins, fundraising successes and media appearances are the aspects of being Chairman that gain the most attention, the most rewarding aspect of my service was the opportunity to travel our state and get to know the people of Iowa. The strength of the rebuilt Iowa GOP rests in the hands of the thousands of committed volunteer activists who give their time, treasure and talents to make Iowa a better place by working to elect public servants who share our values and principles.

The Iowa GOP designs its position of Chairman to be volunteer in nature. But over the past three years I have treated the privilege of serving as your Chairman as a full-time calling. There’s no question the job of rebuilding our party was a huge one, and one to which I committed every minute that was necessary to succeed.

It is only because the Iowa GOP has returned as a strong and relevant voice in Iowa politics that I am now able to evaluate all the competing priorities in my personal, business and political life. The party is strong and has the resources in place for victory in November. Now is the time to transition to new leadership.

Effective February 10, I will be ending my service as your Chairman. For this fifth generation Iowan and Benton County farm kid, serving as your Chairman has been an honor, a privilege and the opportunity of a lifetime.

To victory,


Matthew N. Strawn


(Note: The following appeared as an attachment to Strawn’s January 31 letter to Iowa Republicans)

Following very challenging back-to-back election cycles in 2006 and 2008, the Republican Party of Iowa has emerged since 2009 as a force in Iowa politics. The accomplishments of the past three plus years include:

Electoral Accomplishments

Retention of all Republican incumbents to U.S. Senate, congressional, statewide and legislative offices during the 2010 midterm elections

Won the Office of the Governor for the first time in twelve years

Won the Office of Secretary of State for the first time in twelve years

Won an Iowa House GOP majority with a net-gain of sixteen Republican seats

Won a net-gain of six Republican seats in the Iowa Senate

Dominated county-level races by winning a net-gain of over 100 Republican-held county offices


Financial Accomplishments

The Iowa GOP is entirely debt-free. (Paid off all debt obligations inherited at start of term)


The Iowa GOP outraised the Iowa Democratic Party in 2011 (source FEC filings)


The Iowa GOP currently has more cash-on-hand than the Iowa Democratic Party (source FEC filings)

During the 2010 election cycle, Iowa GOP increased major donor revenue by 29% compared to most recent prior election cycles

Major physical renovations and improvements to the Iowa GOP HQ building in Des Moines

First-in-the-Nation Accomplishments

Maintained Iowa’s First-in-the-Nation status through passage of new RNC rules in August 2010

Largest turnout in the history of the Iowa GOP precinct caucuses in January 2012

Second largest turnout in the history of the Iowa GOP Straw Poll in August 2011

Co-hosted three nationally-televised GOP presidential debates for the first time in the history of the Iowa GOP, including the first-ever prime-time, nationally-televised presidential debate from Northwest Iowa.

Organizational Accomplishments

Voter Registration Gains: The Iowa GOP has made remarkable gains in voter registration since January 2009.

December 2011 marked 34 consecutive months that the Iowa GOP outpaced the Iowa Democratic Party in voter registration gains.

In January 2009, Iowa Democrats held a voter registration edge of 115,917 over Iowa Republicans. Today, that edge has been cut by over two-thirds and stands at less than 30,000, which does not yet include the number of new Republican registrants from the January 3 Iowa Caucuses

During the 2010 cycle, only the Iowa GOP saw an increase in voter registration and Iowans registered with either Democrat or No Party affiliation declined

Early Voting: Dramatically improved the Iowa GOP’s performance on absentee and early voting results during the 2010 midterm election cycle.

83 percent increase in Iowa GOP absentee/early vote performance compared to 2006 midterms

95 percent Iowa GOP absentee return-rate a four percent increase compared to 2006 midterms

Iowa GOP petitioned for more satellite vote locations statewide than Iowa Democrats, dramatically increasing Republican share of vote

Statewide Victory Voter Program: The Iowa GOP’s I-WIN 2010 voter program was the most aggressive, volunteer-based, midterm voter contact program ever launched by the Republican Party of Iowa.

Opening of Statewide Offices by Spring 2010: The Iowa GOP honored its pledge to open and staff ten statewide victory offices by June 2010

Record-breaking volunteer contacts:Volunteers made over 1.5 million volunteer voter contacts

Full-ticket support:For the first-time ever, the statewide Iowa GOP voter program was made available to all GOP candidates from Governor to county-level offices

Paid for by the Republican Party of Iowa and Not Authorized by Any Candidate or Candidate’s Committee

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