Consolation Prize

Aside from voting on a wacky state platform, Iowa Republicans tomorrow will be filling out their ticket for positions that either aren’t primary-eligible (Lieutenant Governor) or where no GOPers chose to run in the primary (Attorney General and State Treasurer). As always, things are a bit different in Iowa.

In any event, the only Republican going into this week who had expressed an interest in running for State Treasurer against eight-term (that’s right, eight-term) Democratic incumbent Michael Fitzgerald was Some Dude named John Thompson, who had degrees from West Point and the Kennedy School and service in Afghanistan and Iraq to recommend him.

But it seems Thompson also had an arrest record from trying to carry shooting irons though the TSA checkpoint at DSM airport, and was earlier arrested in NC and charged with hiring a hit man to kill his ex-wife (though the charges were later dropped). So not wanting to run the risk of Some Dude appearing on the state ticket, Iowa Republican leaders (reportedly including Gov. Terry Branstad) recruited the third-place finisher in the Senate primary, Sam Clovis, to stand for Treasurer.

So presto change-o, Clovis gets to stay on the campaign trail until November (and could theoretically win in a GOP tsunami, though Fitzgerald has survived several), and the relationship between Republican Establishment folk like Branstad and “constitutional conservatives” like Clovis gets a little cozier. That’s how they roll in the Iowa GOP.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.