Republican Party of Iowa

Republican Party Delegate Selection to Iowa’s Caucuses and Conventions


-- A How to Guide --


Serving as a delegate to one or more of Iowa’s caucuses or conventions is truly a unique and interesting endeavor.  The process avails the participant of one of this country’s truly grassroots participatory political practices.  Below you will find a simple guide to the process of Caucus Participant to Delegate to the Republican National Convention.  All of Iowa’s registered Republicans are availed the opportunity to actively participate in the process. 


Please consider joining the ranks of thousands of Iowans who work to make their voices heard during this unique process.


The levels at which you may serve are as follows:


  1. Precinct Caucus Attendee
  2. Delegate to your County Republican Convention
  3. Delegate to the District Statutory Caucus (often referred to as the District Convention).  A District meeting is held in each of Iowa’s Five Congressional Districts.
    1. Delegate to the District Presidential Caucus (convention) --only during Presidential election years
  4. Delegate to the State Republican Convention
  5. Delegate to the Republican National Convention (only during Presidential election years)


Step One:
  Attend your precinct caucus.  Each of Iowa’s precincts conducts a precinct caucus at the beginning of each election year.  The caucus is typically held in January, but no later than mid-February.  Iowa law mandates that each party find locations for all precincts and that the caucus locations be listed in the primary newspapers servicing your county during the two weeks immediately preceding the scheduled dates of the caucuses.  Volunteer for or have someone nominate you to serve as a delegate to your county’s Republican Convention.  During a non-presidential year, many precincts are “looking” for people interested in serving as county delegates.  The process is more difficult during presidential election years, especially if the Republican nomination is contested.  In order to better ensure your election, invite as many friends (who live in your precinct) to attend the caucus with you as possible.  Ask them to support your nomination and vote for you after nominations cease.


Step Two: 
Make sure that you actually attend your county convention.  It is much more difficult to proceed to the next level of delegate participation if you fail to attend the conventions to which you have been nominated to serve.  Be prepared to have someone nominate you to serve at the next level (District and State Delegate) or contact the nomination committee to determine what must be done to have your name put into consideration.  Your local County GOP Chair can tell you who sits on the nomination committee.


Counties nominate and elect the next level of delegates directly from the floor of their county convention.  Some counties prepare a slate to be presented to the county convention delegates for their approval.  Typically this partial slate would include state legislators, county supervisors and elected officials.   It is imperative that you contact your county GOP chair to determine the exact method of this process.


Step Three:  If you are elected at your County Republican Convention to serve as a District Delegate, you automatically serve as a delegate to the State Convention.  Attend your District Caucus (convention).  If it is a Presidential election year and you wish to run to serve as a delegate to the Republican National Convention, your efforts should begin during this meeting.  Let people know of your interest in serving as a National Delegate.  Begin campaigning at this meeting for your election at the Presidential Caucus (Convention).  People who wish to serve in this capacity must be willing to campaign; send out letters to the delegates, distribute information sheets regarding your skills and qualifications to serve during the District events.


Step Four:  If this is a Presidential year and you wish to seek a seat as a National Delegate, you should attend your District Presidential Caucus (Convention).  This meeting is always held the Friday evening before the state convention.  Have someone prepared to nominate you (this speech is normally limited to 1 minute) from the floor and someone prepared to second the nomination (usually no speech allowed).  Be prepared to give a short speech to the delegation (usually between 3 and 5 minutes). Make sure you arrive early to distribute your campaign material.  Some individuals actually take the time and effort to contact each of the delegates by phone or mail prior to the day of the elections.  Twelve (12) delegates – 3 from each congressional district are elected in this fashion.


Step Five:  A nominating committee will be elected during the District Caucus (convention); two members from each congressional district.  This nominating committee is commissioned with the task of putting a slate together to be elected as “at-large” delegates.  This at-large slate is presented to the delegates prior to the state convention and the convention delegates have the opportunity to approve or decline this slate at a specified time during the convention.  Contact someone from the Republican Party of Iowa to ask who is serving on the nominating committee.  If you were unsuccessful in your attempts at the District Presidential Caucus (convention), you may still lobby the nomination committee to place your name on the slate.  You should be aware, however, that the slate typically consists of elected officials and Republican leaders and one’s best opportunity to serve as a National Delegate comes at the District Presidential Caucus (convention).



Step Six:  Congratulations if you have made it through the process and have been successfully elected as a National Delegate.  This is an elite group of people, usually only 25-35 Republicans are honored in this way. The National Convention is typically held in late summer (less likely in the beginning of September) of a Presidential election year.  As a delegate, please be aware that you are responsible for the cost of the entire convention.  It is typical for the convention expenses to run from $1500 to $3000 depending on the delegate hotel assignment and what type of meals you eat.  Have fun and enjoy the experience!

Simplified Step by Step