116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn said today that he's resigning.
In a video announcement this morning, Strawn praised the party's victories in 2010 and said that the party's resurrection has led him to believe it's time to step down.
"It is only because the Iowa GOP has returned as a strong and relevant voice in Iowa politics that I am now able to evaluate all the competing priorities in my personal, business and political life," he said.
He said the resignation would be effective Feb. 10.
Strawn, a Des Moines businessman, has drawn fire for how the 2012 caucus results were handled this month.
On the night of the caucuses, Strawn declared Mitt Romney an eight-vote winner over Rick Santorum. But when a review of the results was completed two weeks later -- and Santorum had the most votes -- the party shied away from declaring a winner, only to have Strawn say definitively later that the former Pennsylvania senator was the victor.
The episode led some prominent voices in the party to demand his resignation. Strawn, though, did not address the matter in his video message. He lauded the party's comeback, noting not only 2010 victories but an increase in the party's registration rolls.
Strawn was elected the state party chair after the 2008 campaign, taking command at a time when the GOP was coming off a series of losses in the state.
The Legislature swung to Democratic control in 2006, along with the governorship. And Democrats had won the presidency in two of the previous three elections.
Strawn, who is in his 30s, put greater emphasis on social media, like Twitter and Facebook, and he hosted pizza parties across the state in his early days to learn the concerns of Republicans.
In 2009, Politico called him one of the 50 "politicos" worth watching.
Leading up to the Jan. 3 caucuses, Strawn struggled with the same challenges his predecessors had to deal with, as other states tried to push their way to the front of the GOP nominating process. The caucuses remained first, but the voting was held just two days after New Year's Day, the same as four years ago. At one point, the possibility of a 2011 caucus was seriously raised.