Talent and Organization - Iowa

By Caucus Day, Jan. 3, 2012, six Republican presidential campaigns were actively competing in Iowa and President Obama's re-election campaign was organizing as well.  Additionally several GOP candidates had built up organizations but withdrew from the race before the caucuses.

updated January 11, 2012


Gingrich Huntsman (Johnson) (Karger) Paul Perry
Cain Pawlenty

Barack Obama +

Derek Eadon is the Obama for America state director.  He directed Iowa Democrats' 2010 Coordinated Campaign.  Previously he was the Iowa state director for Organizing for America.  In the 2007-08 cycle he was the first field organizer hired in Iowa for Obama's campaign, and continued on the campaign through Nov. 2008.  In the 2006 he was a field organizer for the Coordinated Campaign in the Cedar Rapids area.  Originally from Elmhurst, Ill.  twitter

Michele Bachmann +

Sen. Kent Sorenson of Indianola served as Bachmann's Iowa chairman for most of the campaign before announcing his switch to Ron Paul on Dec. 28, 2011; he was reported as a Bachmann supporter from March 2011, and had been serving as de-facto campaign manager.  Sen. Brad Zaun succeeded Sorenson as chair for the closing week of the campaign.  On Oct. 27, 2011, the Campaign announced Eric Woolson as campaign manager (he was announced on Sept. 21 as leading Iowa communication efforts.  Woolson formerly served as state spokesman and senior consultant on the Pawlenty for President campaign.  He is president and CEO of The Concept Works, a public, media and government relations and crisis management firm in West Des Moines that he founded in 2002.  Campaign manager for Mike Huckabee's 2007-08 Iowa caucus campaign; started as coordinator of Huckabee's Hope for America PAC in June 2006.  Wes Enos is political director.  Enos is an independent contractor and a member of the Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee (since Sept. 2008).  Candidate for State Senate in District 13, losing the June 2010 primary.  In the 2008 cycle he served as Iowa political director on Huckabee for President.

Newt Gingrich +

Following the June exodus of many consultants and staff, the campaign is pursued a volunteer-oriented approach; House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer, who endorsed Gingrich during his Jan. 25, 2011 visit and was subsequently named chair of the campaign, continued on board as did senior advisor on Iowa issues House Speaker Pro Tem Jeff Kaufmann.  In mid-Nov. 2011 the campaign ramped up version 2.0 under the leadership of senior advisors Craig Schoenfeld and Katie Koberg.  Schoenfeld served as Iowa executive director of the first iteration of Newt 2012 for a number of weeks and subsequently served as  executive director of Americans for Rick Perry.  Koberg likewise was deputy executive director of the first iteration of Newt 2012.  As of Dec. 10 the campaign had a total of seven staff.

John Huntsman

The campaign is skipping Iowa.

Gary Johnson +

Jake Porter is state director.  Jimmy Morrison served as Iowa advance coordinator for the OUR America Initiative.  He is a filmmaker (JD Productions, LLC) from SE Iowa.  Founder of Iowa Patients for Medical Marijuana. 

Fred Karger

Nathan Treloar served as Karger's Iowa state director through the end of June 2011 when he left the campaign role to take up a position in Chicago.  He was announced on Nov. 22, 2010.  Treloar runs a consulting firm providing voter outreach and communications services.  He managed Mark Rees' June 2010 primary campaign in Iowa's 3rd CD.  He worked as communications director, House Majority Fund finance director and a county organizer for the Republican Party of Iowa.  Degree in political science from Iowa State University.  Native of Ogden, Iowa (Boone County).  Ted Coppock, who works in insurance in the Des Moines area, is a key Karger supporter from early on.

Ron Paul +

Drew Ivers is chairman of Paul's campaign committee.  Ivers served as Iowa campaign chairman for Paul in 2008.  He was Iowa campaign chair for Pat Buchanan in 1996 and 2000.  Iowa campaign chairman for Pat Robertson in 1988; chaired Robertson's state-wide organization that led to the creation of the initial 1989 Christian Coalition of Iowa (now known as the Iowa Christian Alliance).  District chair for Ronald Reagan in 1980.  Has served on many Iowa campaigns.  Republican State Central Committee member since 2010, and from 1984-88.  Five-time Republican National Convention delegate.  Geneticist, retired after 35 years; has seven patents.  Purple Heart honoree for his U.S. Army service in Vietnam.  Holds A.S., B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.  David Fischer and A.J. Spiker are vice chairs.  The committee officially opened its Iowa headquarters and announced its Iowa staff on May 10, 2011.  On Sept. 9, 2011 the campaign announced that Michael Heath is succeeding Steve Bierfeldt as executive director (Bierfeldt moved over to lead the Nevada campaign).  Heath comes to the campaign from Maine.

Rick Perry +

Robert Haus is chairman of the campaign and his wife Ruth Haus is senior consultant (announced Aug. 26, 2011).  Robert Haus is vice president of public affairs at Policy Works, announced Nov. 2010.  Co-founder and owner of Eagle Media Group LLC.  Iowa state director on Fred Thompson's 2007-08 Iowa caucus campaign.   Managing consultant for public policy and public affairs (corporate communications and issue campaigns) for DCI Group, 2000-06.  Senior Iowa consultant on Steve Forbes' 2000 Iowa caucus campaign.  Managed Sen. Phil Gramm's 1996 Iowa caucus campaign.  Managed Sen. Chuck Grassley's 1992 re-election campaign.  Worked for the Iowa Senate Republican Caucus.  Graduate of Iowa State University; law degree from the University of Iowa, 1988.   Ruth Haus is president of Living History Farms.  Co-founder and owner of Eagle Media Group LLC.  CEO of the Des Moines Symphony, 2002-07.  Deputy campaign manager on Steve Forbes' 2000 presidential campaign.  Deputy political director at the RNC, 1994-97.  Worked in the Offices of Intergovernmental Affairs and Political Affairs at the White House, 1989-92.  M.B.A. from The College of William and Mary, 2002; B.B.A. from The George Washington University, School of Business, 1988.  Originally from Greenwich, CT.  Matt Gronewald is state director (announced Aug. 26, 2011).  He left his position as deputy executive director of the Republican Party of Iowa to join Perry's team.  In April he served briefly as Iowa director/consultant at Haley's PAC.  Previously he served as House Majority Fund director, July 2007-Dec. 2010.  Gronewald worked on John McCain's Iowa cacus effort, mid-2006 to mid-2007, starting with Straight Talk America in June 2006 directing day to day ops on the ground.

Buddy Roemer

The campaign is not active in Iowa.

Mitt Romney +

Sara Craig is state director starting May 2011.  Consultant at Redwave Communications.  Managed Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey's primary campaign for Governor of Tennessee.  Legislative caucus director and executive director of the North Dakota Republican Party, 2008.  Central Iowa field director on Romney's 2007-08 Iowa caucus campaign, and continued on with the campaign to Michigan, Florida, and Minnesota.  Western Iowa field director for the Legislative Majority Fund at the Republican Party of Iowa in the 2006 cycle.  Degrees in political science and journalism from Marquette University.  Phil Valenziano is field director, and on May 27 the campaign announced its Iowa Leadership Team.

Rick Santorum +

On April 21, 2011 Sen. Santorum announced that Cody Brown, who managed Ben Lange's 2010 congressional campaign in CD-1, will manage the testing the waters effort in Iowa and Lucas Draisey, former chairman of the Iowa Federation of College Republicans, will serve as field director.  Continuing as advisors are Nick Ryan and Jill Latham , whom Santorum's Iowa Keystone PAC signed up in Jan. 2011.  Ryan founded and Latham is a principal at the Concordia Group LLC in Des Moines.  Ryan helped found the American Future Fund 501(c)(4) indep. expenditure group and worked for Jim Nussle for seven years.  Latham was political director on Mitt Romney's 2007-08 Iowa caucus camapign.


Herman Cain +

On Oct. 20, 2011 the campaign announced Steve Grubbs as chairman; earlier, on July 5 campaign announced Larry Tuel as state director, as well as three field staff and headquarters in Urbandale.  Prior to Tuel, Tina Goff had served as Iowa organizational director; The Iowa Republican reported her resignation on July 1, 2011.  She cited a lack of commitment by Cain to campaigning in the state (same reasons cited by Matt Murphy who resigned in New Hampshire).  The Iowa Republican also reported the resignation of Straw Poll coordinator Kevin Hall.

Thaddeus McCotter +

Chris Rants is consultant/senior advisor.  He served 18 years in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1993-2010 representing Sioux City.  Rants was elected Speaker Nov. 12, 2002 and continued through 2006 elections; from 2007 he served as Minority Leader.  President of inSight Communications and partner at Rauschenberger Partners, both from first part of 2010.  Policy consultant to the Terry Branstad gubernatorial campaign in 2010.  Advisor to Mitt Romney's 2008 Iowa caucus campaign (announced Sept. 27, 2006).  Rants served as environmental compliance director of Metz Baking Company, 1992-99.  B.A. from Morningside College, 1989.

Tim Pawlenty +

The exploratory committee was first to open an office, and on April 29, 2011 announced a full team led by Erik Helland, who is the House Majority Whip, as state director and including ten field representatives.  Eric Woolson, president and CEO of The Concept Works and veteran of the Huckabee and George W. Bush caucus campaigns, is doing communications and Chuck Larson and Karen Slifka are advisors.  Pawlenty has done the most to build up an Iowa team starting back in the pre-campaign period.  Freedom First PAC senior advisors Terry Nelson and Sarah Taylor, on board since Oct. 2009, have considerable Iowa experience.  Nelson is from Marshalltown, graduated from University of Iowa (1994), and managed Jim Nussle's campaign in the early 90s.  Taylor is from Dubuque, a graduate of Drake University (1997) and worked on Phil Gramm's Iowa campaign in 1995-96.  National political director Jon Seaton also has Iowa experience, having served as state director on McCain's 2007-08 Iowa caucus campaign.   

Americans for Rick Perry [independent] +

On July 5, 2011 AFPR announced Craig Schoenfeld as executive director of its Iowa organization.  Schoenfeld served as executive director of Newt Gingrich's effort for about a month (first reported April 20, announced May 13; resigned June 9, 2011)  Attorney at Wasker, Dorr, Wimmer & Marcouiller in West Des Moines; also runs a public affairs consulting firm, C. Robert & Associates, which he established in 1994.  Executive director of George Pataki's 21st Century Freedom State PAC Sept.-Nov. 2006.  Managed Rep. Greg Ganske's 2002 campaign for Senate through late 2001.  Communications director for the Iowa Republican Party.  Political director of Iowa Victory 2000.  Political director of Iowa Victory 2000.  Caucus planning director on Bush's 2000 Iowa caucus campaign (starting Sept. 1999 worked in tandem with the campaign's field operations, preparing county and precinct leaders and supporters for the intricacies of the Iowa caucus process).  Director of communications for the Iowa House Republican Caucus 1999-2000.  Analyst/legal counsel to the House Republican Caucus from 1994-98.  M.A. and J.D. from Drake University, 1994.  B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 1991.  Raised on a farm in Beaver Dam, WI.

Roy Moore

Moore's Iowa team of chairman Danny Carroll, advisor Cary Gordon, and strategist Tom Steen have resigned effective June 14, 2011 (+).  Starting with the exploratory announcement tour in April, former State Rep. Danny Carroll headed Moore's effort in Iowa.  Lobbyist/independent contractor for The Family Leader; also a principal with Truth, Values & Leadership.  Served as chairman of the board at Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC), the Iowa ministry affiliate of Focus on the Family, from 2008-10, when it became part of The Family Leader.  Ran for chairman of the Iowa Republican Party in Jan. 2009, finishing second to Matt Strawn.  Elected to the Iowa House of Representatives in 1994 and seved through 2006 when he was defeated by Eric Palmer (D); also lost 2008 re-match.  Member of the Poweshiek County Board of Supervisors, Jan. 1984-Dec. 1994.  Carroll lives south of Grinnell and he and his wife run Carroll's Pumpkin Farm; he also also served as director of community relations for Iowa Telecom.  B.S. in business administration from Milligan College in Johnston City, TN.  Tom Steen, president of Truth, Values & Leadership, served as COO of IFPC from 2009-10.  He previously had a 30 year career in corporate finance.  Cary Gordon is pastor at Cornerstone World Outreach in Sioux City.

See also:
Craig Robinson. "Iowa Caucus Campaign 'Gets' - Campaign Managers."  The Iowa Republican, March 10, 2011.

Tom Beaumont. "The Iowa Caucuses 50 Most Wanted." Des Moines Register, Dec. 5, 2010.