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Branstad “not going to take a position” on whether Iowa GOP chair should resign

(Radio Iowa) – Republican Governor Terry Branstad is not going to weigh in publicly on whether the chairman of the Iowa GOP has his support.

Appanoose County Republicans passed a resolution last Thursday calling for the resignation of A.J. Spiker, the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. Branstad was asked this morning by a reporter whether he agrees Spiker should resign.

“I’m not going to take a position on that,” Branstad replied. “I think that’s up to individual Republicans to decide who they think is the appropriate leader for the party.”

The Iowa Republican Party’s state central committee is scheduled to meet this evening and at least five members plan to move for a re-vote on when the party should hold its 2014 state convention. Party chairman Spiker wants it to be held in July rather than June and led the vote to move the convention at the state central committee’s last meeting. Branstad, the state’s longest-serving governor, has criticized that decision, but the governor said he has not directly lobbied members of the party’s governing board on the issue.

“I have not,” Branstad told reporters. “I have made my position well-known and I understand that there is broad-based support to restore the June date for the convention. I think that’s positive step and I’m please to hear that.”

Branstad also said it’s important for Republicans to hold their precinct Caucuses on the same day as Democrats.

“We increase public participation by having the Caucuses the same night, so I thought that’s a good tradition and, if possible, I’d like certainly like to see that,” Branstad said. “I know it’s not as important in a non-presidential year.”

Iowa GOP officials announced this spring that their 2014 Caucuses will be begin Saturday morning, January 25, while Democrats have tentatively scheduled their Caucuses for Tuesday evening, January 21 and Democratic Party leaders have been trying to get the Iowa G-O-P to move their Caucuses to that Tuesday night.