The potential field of candidates for Iowa’s open U.S Senate seat has further narrowed as current Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz has bowed out.
Tuesday he took to twitter to make the announcement and also sent an exclusive statement to The Iowa Republican.com–who have made a habit lately of further diminishing the Des Moines Register by breaking stories.Â The statement reads as follows:
Over the past few weeks I have been truly humbled by the encouragement I have received from Iowans to run for the U.S. Senate.
After many conversations with my family and friends about the U.S. Senate race, I keep coming back to the fact that I love serving Iowans as their Secretary of State.
In my first two years as Secretary of State we have worked to increase voter participation with our â€œHonor a Veteranâ€ program and our partnership with Rock the Vote to encourage young people to vote through Rock Iowa. We have made it easier to start a business in Iowa by streamlining the filing process, and we used technology to make voting easier by creating apps that allow voters to find their polling place and track their absentee ballots right from their cell phones. We have also created an electronic poll book, â€œExpress Voterâ€, to make voting easier on Election Day.
While I am proud of our achievements, there is more to accomplish. I will continue working to improve the business climate in Iowa and fighting for integrity in our elections. This is why I am going to run for re-election as Iowaâ€™s Secretary of State.
Schultz would certainly have been a serious candidate and his decision to sit this out surprised many.Â Â He flewÂ out to Washington D.C a few weeks ago for meetings, and I highly doubt they told him anything overly negative.Â The notion that Bruce Braley is an overwhelming favorite in the general is flat-out an illusion–he can be beat and I’m confident Schultz heard this in D.C.
As his statement suggests, a major factor was you get the sense he truly does–for now–Â love being Secretary of State.Â Having said that, I can’t help but think if the calendar had been kinder and he wouldn’t of had to give up his current job to put his name on a ballot–he would have done so.
Republicans will see Schultz plenty in the future, and the last hidden factor to consider is this–we have another Senate seat in the state;Â right now it’sÂ held by someone as old as the Republic, and that election falls in a S.O.S off-year.Â Additionally the next few years can be served raising his profile when he wants to, speaking at Republican events,Â and building a wide donor base.Â I bet all this added up to “Schultz for Senate 2016” having a better sounding ring to it.
With the primary and caucus season officially over, the time for Iowa Republicans to come together has now arrived.Â For Republicans in Ankeny and the surrounding areas, literally getting together will be on the menu Saturday May 26th at the Ankeny Band Shell in Wagner Parkâ€”along with some world-class barbeque.
The event is the first annual â€œSenator Whitver Memorial Day Weekend Picnic,â€ and it will feature some great guests.Â Among those speaking will be Governor Terry Branstad, Congressman Tom Latham, and Secretary of State Matt Schultz.
For Senator Whitver the idea of having a picnic was the perfect way to bridge two good causes, â€œThere is such a feeling of community in Ankeny and I wanted to start an event that can be an annual tradition.Â Being a young father myself, it is important to me that this is a family friendly event.Â This will be a great chance for kids to meet and speak with their elected officials, including the Governor, and a great opportunity to teach them the importance of being involved.â€Â The other good cause is that all funds raised will go to support Senate Republicans this November.Â To this point Senator Whitver added, â€œThis is also an event that will help Republican candidates all over the state and help us take the majority in the Iowa Senate next fall.â€
Besides hearing from the featured guests, Ankeny residents will have the chance to meet the candidates running to represent them in the Iowa House, as well as Polk County Sheriff candidate Dan Charleston.Â Â Â There will be plenty ofÂ food and entertainment throughout, asÂ all attendees will be treated to live music and the cooking of renowned Iowa barbeque chef Lee Booton.
Against the family picnic backdrop, political enthusiasts will have plenty to keep an eye on as well.Â This will be one of Governor Branstadâ€™s first public appearances following the adjourning of the Iowa Legislature, and many will likely be hearing from Congressman Latham for the first time sinceÂ launching his campaign in a very high profile showdown with Representative Leonard Boswell.Â Returning to Ankeny after speaking at the Polk County Convention in March, Mr. Latham sounds ready to meet and speak with voters in a far more casual setting.Â When asked for his thoughts on this upcoming Republican get together he responded, “I am looking forward to this great event and an afternoon of seeing old friends and making new ones.”
In the big picture, the influence that Iowa has in the primary process will be fully re-lived this November.Â As an unquestioned swing state in the presidential election and home to two of the most important Congressional races in the Country, what happens here will undoubtedly re-shape American politics for the next several years.
All those interested in shaping what will become an Ankeny tradition for several years to come should take a look at the flyer below and make plans to attend on Saturday, May 26th.Â If you are sure to attend, please RSVP to [email protected].Â Tickets will also be available for purchase the day of the event.