Spiker retains top Iowa GOP post

by Jennifer Jacobs, Des Moines Register  |  published on January 8, 2013

AJ Spiker

A.J. Spiker won re-election as chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa on Saturday despite fierce GOP in-fighting that has resulted in a slump in financial support to the organization and other problems.

Spiker, a former Ron Paul campaign staffer, claimed 13 votes from the 18-member Iowa Republican state central committee. He fended off a challenge from Bill Schickel, the party’s co-chairman, who earned five votes. The state party is meant to be the guiding force in helping the GOP win elections and preserving the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Central committee member Jamie Johnson pleaded with his fellow board members to pick a co-chairperson who has a background broader than the Paul campaign and the so-called liberty movement.

“I believe a visible sign must be given from the members of this committee that this is not the Ron Paul Party of Iowa,” Johnson said. “It has to be the Republican Party of Iowa.”

But the board elected another former Paul campaign staffer, David Fischer, as co-chairman with 11 votes.

Steve Scheffler, who nominated Spiker, said he has never seen so much acrimony — verbal and written demonizing of fellow Iowa Republicans meant to destroy another person’s integrity.

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