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Would Iowa Republican Party toss caucus results? No, Paul Pate says

Upcoming book suggests Trump urged party leader to do so in 2016

Then-candidate Donald Trump looks on as Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate introduces him before a fundraiser in April 2015 at the Cedar Rapids Country Club. Pate said Friday that the Iowa Republican Party would not invalidate its caucus results for any reason. The statement was in response to an excerpt from an upcoming book that suggests Trump asked Republican Party of Iowa chairman Jeff Kaufmann to invalidate the results of the 2016 GOP caucuses. Trump finished second in the caucuses to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. (Gazette file photo)
Then-candidate Donald Trump looks on as Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate introduces him before a fundraiser in April 2015 at the Cedar Rapids Country Club. Pate said Friday that the Iowa Republican Party would not invalidate its caucus results for any reason. The statement was in response to an excerpt from an upcoming book that suggests Trump asked Republican Party of Iowa chairman Jeff Kaufmann to invalidate the results of the 2016 GOP caucuses. Trump finished second in the caucuses to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. (Gazette file photo)

DES MOINES — Iowa Republicans would not invalidate the results of their presidential precinct caucuses for any reason, including to protect a particular candidate, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said in response to book excerpts suggesting the party was pressured to do so in 2016.

Then-candidate Donald Trump urged Republican Party of Iowa chairman Jeff Kaufmann to invalidate the results of the 2016 GOP caucuses, Tim Alberta reports in his new book “American Carnage,” according to the Washington Post, which obtained an advance copy of the book.

Trump finished second to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2016 Republican caucuses. It was one of the few states Trump did not win en route to securing the party’s nomination and eventually winning the 2016 presidential election.

Kaufmann and the Republican Party of Iowa are withholding comment until the book is published, a party spokesman said. The book is scheduled to be released Tuesday.

As secretary of state, Pate does not play a role in tabulating caucus results. Unlike elections, which fall under the secretary of state’s authority, the caucuses are functions of the political parties.

But Pate has been a longtime Republican public officeholder and has participated in multiple GOP caucuses. He said the party would not invalidate caucus results because doing so would delegitimize the caucuses.

Pate was asked about the report of Trump’s request Friday during taping of this weekend’s episode of “Iowa Press” on Iowa Public Television.

“Would we invalidate? No,” Pate said.

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“Iowa has got a good reputation. We have a lot on the line. And it’s crucial we have that transparency, whether it is Republicans or Democrats. And to have that kind of activity would be devastating.

“So I have confidence that we’ll keep our integrity there, and we’ll make sure our caucuses are run on the up and up.”

• Comments: (563) 383-2492; erin.murphy@lee.net

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