Iowa law contradicts DNC decision regarding first primary state caucus
(ABC 6 News) – Iowa democrats are stuck between state laws and the Democratic National Convention’s new ruling regarding the first primary state caucus.
Friday, the DNC chose South Carolina as its new primary caucus state last week, moving away from Iowa after more than 50 years.
Now, Iowa democrats will have to decide whether to comply with their state law in holding the first primary caucus, or comply with the DNC’s decision to strip Iowa of its first-in-the-nation status.
The DNC’s decision to remove Iowa was to better reflect the party’s diverse electorate.
Another reason for the decision to move away from Iowa is that the state’s 2020 caucus was chaotic after an array of technical meltdowns, of which Iowa officials blame on a DNC-required app that failed on election night.
Iowa code requires the state to hold its caucuses “at least eight days earlier” than any other state’s nominating process. However, the DNC has promised to punish any state that breaks its rules by going earlier than they are supposed to, by taking away half of their delegates at the national convention.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and the republican-controlled state legislature are unlikely to change the state law because they remain committed to keeping Iowa first in the process.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate says Iowa’s attorney general could sue Iowa democrats for breaking the law if they choose not to hold first-in-the-nation caucuses.
“Well, that one’s going to fall under the new attorney general and she will be the one that will take a hard look at that,” explained Secretary of State Pate.
Many Iowa democratic officials say they want to comply with state law and that they hope some kind of compromise can be made.
“We’re all on the same side on this. Hopefully, there will be some kind of compromise between the Iowa law and the DNC where Iowa can still have their caucus or primary in February so we would still be at an early stage,” added Joann Hardy, the Cerro Gordo democratic party chair.
Hardy also explains that in losing this first state position, Iowa also will be losing a lot of economic boosts that the state needs. Being first in the process, many candidates campaign in Iowa, stay in Iowa, and eat in Iowa while rallying support. Also, it will be losing its opportunity to make rural issues a priority on the national stage.