The Dallas County Republicans aim to get Dallas County residents to engage with political and policy issues in their communities. They also aim to get more registered voters to to get involved with the Republican Party.
The Dallas County Republicans recently elected new leadership to the organization. John Strathman has succeeded Tyler De Haan as the Chairman of Dallas County Republicans and Patti Brown will serve as Co-Chair.
Phil Patterson was elected treasurer and Clair Mellick was elected secretary by the Central Committee, which is made up of a minimum of two and a maximum of four people from each of Dallas County’s 34 voting precincts, based on how many ballots are cast in elections in each of those precincts.
Strathman said that he was nominated for the position of Chairman by Ernie Rudolph, who also wrote a recommendation. Rudolph is on the State Central Committee and the Dallas County Central Committee.
Strathman said that before his retirement in 2009, he wasn’t able to be very active politically and decided to get involved with the Dallas County Republicans.
“After I retired, I found myself railing at the TV when I’d see things reported and thought ‘this accomplishes nothing productive,” Strathman said. “And so then I started getting involved, just on my own, in election cycles. I’d go out and canvass neighborhoods for the Party… I just started doing that on my own as a way to translate my frustration in to some way to try and bend the curve to make a change in the direction the country was going.”
Although he believes there is a lot of good talent who could have filled the role of Chairman of the Dallas County Republicans, Strathman said he is glad to take on the role and do the work that is included.
He said he will do what he can to get the Republicans in Dallas County to be more active.
“I’m 100 percent into our platform,” Strathman said. “I really believe that the Dallas County Republican platform offers the best opportunity, the best pathway forward for everybody in Dallas County.”
He said that while he believes in the Dallas County Republicans’ platform, he also doesn’t believe people should be dismissive of other ideas and should be able to talk about problems in the United States, in Iowa and on the local level.
One of the main goals that Strathman has is getting people more engaged, including in getting Republicans involved with the organization, voters involved in the election process and his central committee involved in community events to help spread the word about the organization.
One thing he also said is always a topic of discussion, and should be for both parties, is keeping Iowa’s first-in-the-nation Caucus status during the Presidential election every four years.
“If we’re not first in the nation, Iowa would largely become, in a Presidential election, politically irrelevant,” Strathman said. “Six electoral votes? Candidates won’t spend time here. But when we’re first in the nation, they all practically live here. That’s a huge boom to Iowa’s economy.”
He also said that because of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status, the state can sometimes set the trajectory for the rest of the election cycle.
“If you look at our past election, the Democrat Party I believe started with five candidates nationally known, the Republican Party started with 17,” Strathman said.
Eight candidates dropped out either before the Iowa Caucuses or shortly after, bringing that number down to nine nationally-known candidates.
“If they’re not viable here, they wind up dropping out,” Strathman said.
The newly-elected leadership will serve a 2-year term.