PRESS RELEASES from the Iowa Republican Party

For Immediate Release

February 8, 2011

Iowa GOP adds experienced staff in preparation for straw poll/caucus

DES MOINES- Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn today announced the hiring of additional staff and the promotion of two current staff members as the party begins preparation for the straw poll and 2012 caucus. In addition to Executive Director Chad Olsen who was hired in November and formally confirmed late last month, Strawn has hired Communications Director, Casey Mills, Organization Director, Ryan Gough and Data Director, Patrick Stewart.

"We continue to build upon our successes since the November midterms by assembling a professional, experienced and committed staff in advance of the Ames Straw Poll and First in the Nation Iowa Caucuses. I am confident these additions to our team will make our grassroots activists, elected officials and donors proud,” Strawn said. “Collectively, this group brings a wealth of experience in political organization and communications and most importantly, they understand Iowa politics.”

Chad Olsen was first hired to serve as Executive Director in November and was formally confirmed by the State Central Committee last month. Olsen, a Harlan native, most recently served as the director of the 2010 Iowa GOP Voter Program which set records for voter contacts and returned Republican absentee ballots. He brings vast caucus experience, working every contested caucus since 1996.

Casey Mills has assumed the role of Communications Director.  Mills served as the Organization Director for Senator Chuck Grassley’s successful re-elect. Prior to returning to Iowa, he spent four years working for Grassley in Washington, most recently as his Deputy Press Secretary. Mills is originally from Sioux City.

Ryan Gough and Patrick Stewart come to the Republican Party of Iowa following roles as field director and data director respectively for the 2010 Iowa GOP Voter Program. Both Gough and Stewart worked at the Republican National Committee in the political department before coming to Iowa in 2010.

In addition to the new personnel at the Iowa GOP, both Kari Putney and Vonna Hall have been promoted to new roles within the organization. Putney, an Elgin native and Iowa State University graduate with extensive event and fundraising experience, was recently named the Iowa GOP's finance coordinator. Hall, who joined the party during the 2010 cycle, will serve as office manager.


For Immediate Release

February 8, 2011

Presidential candidates will find a different political landscape this caucus season
Iowa GOP has expanded, made significant gains since ’08 caucus

DES MOINES- With the 2012 caucuses less than a year away, Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn highlighted the significant gains that Iowa Republicans have made since the 2008 caucuses. The Iowa caucuses will take place on February 6, 2012.

“The political landscape looks much different now than it did just four years ago,” Strawn said. “Candidates will find an emboldened GOP that has added nearly 50,000 Republicans to the voter rolls in addition to taking back the Governor’s Mansion and control of the State House. Our role as the ‘First in the Nation’ caucus state will only build on our momentum as we work to make Iowa a red state in 2012.”

The list below details the gains made by Republicans since the ’08 caucuses:
  • Increased Republican voter registration by nearly 50,000 voters;(January ‘08, 576,231- January ’11, 622,042)
  • Cut Iowa Democratic registration lead in half: in January ’09, Democrats held a voter registration edge of 115,915. Today, that number is 41,037
  • Election of Governor Terry Branstad, first Republican to be elected to the office in 12 years. Branstad carried 90 of Iowa’s 99 counties including:
  • Scott (Culver ‘06, 57%, Obama ’08, 56%)
  • Cerro Gordo (Culver ’06, 62%, Obama ’08, 60%)
  • Clinton (Culver ’06, 61%, Obama ’08, 60%)
  • Allamakee (Culver ’06, 54%, Obama ’08, 56%)
  • Muscatine (Culver ’06, 56%, Obama ’08, 57%)
  • Wapello (Culver ’06, 62%, Obama ’08, 55%)
  • Polk (Culver ’06, 56%, Obama ’08, 56%)
  • Jackson (Culver ’06, 63%, Obama ’08, 61%)
  • Election of Secretary of State Matt Schultz, first Republican to be elected to the office in 12 years
  • 16-seat gain in the Iowa House in 2010 election, hold 60-40 margin with pickups in districts that included parts of Scott (Paustian), Cerro Gordo (Byrnes), Polk (Pearson), Muscatine (Lofgren), Jackson (Moore) and Allamakee (Hager) counties
  • Iowa House Republicans received 211,271 more total votes than their Democratic counterparts
  • 6-seat gain in the Iowa Senate in the 2010 election including two pickups in districts that included Wapello County
  • Net-gain of 106 county offices, including supervisor seats in battleground terrain like Cerro Gordo, Linn, Scott and Dubuque counties
  • Orchestrated the most successful absentee ballot/early voting initiative in the history of the Iowa GOP, increasing returned Republican ballots by 83% compared to 2006 midterms
  • Executed a fully integrated voter program leveraged up and down the ticket, setting an Iowa GOP record with more than 1.5 million voter contacts