Wrapping up a their county outreach initiative in Monroe on Monday night, the Jasper Republicans heard from two political hopefuls and discussed the upcoming caucuses.
United States Senate candidate Joni Ernst was the featured speaker. Ernst, a legislator from Montgomery County, said that as a mother, a soldier and a state senator with a known conservative voting record, she is the “best bet” to defeat democrat Bruce Braley. Ernst worked to bring about the recent property tax cuts in Iowa and opposes the new proposed nuclear treaty with Iran. State Senator Ernst is the fifth candidate for the U.S. Senate to address the group.
After Ernst took questions from the crowd, former Jasper County Republican Chairman Patrick Payton formally announced his candidacy for the Iowa State Senate. District 15, currently held by Sen. Dennis Black, includes most of Jasper County and the eastern one-third of Polk County. Payton said: “As a lifelong Iowan and the father of six daughters, my interest in seeing Iowa progress and excel in all areas is important, especially educational issues. We must return control of our schools to the local level- where decision making belongs.”
Payton completed his doctorate in education at Iowa State University and has taught at the high school and college level. He also holds a juris doctorate from Drake and currently has a law practice in Des Moines. Payton resides in Newton with his wife Della.
Marshall Critchfield, the current chairman of the Jasper Republicans, said of Payton: “I had the pleasure of serving as co-chair to Pat. He is as hard-working and organized as anyone I’ve ever known. When you couple that with his passion for the GOP, I think we can expect a very strong campaign.”
John Ferland, organizational director for the Republican Party of Iowa, discussed the upcoming caucuses with the group. The Republicans will caucus at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School on Jan. 21.
Critchfield also announced that the party’s spring fundraising event will be a trap shooting contest at the Jasper County Gun Club on Saturday April 14, 2014. Sponsorship opportunities are available. All interested sponsors and shooters should contact Critchfield directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. As a reminder, the local party can be found on Facebook: Jasper County Iowa GOP.