In another sign of the changing times and power shifts in Iowa, Sen. Chuck Grassley’s former chief of staff won the special nominating convention in the state’s highly competitive 3rd Congressional District on Saturday.
With five candidates running, nobody garnered 35 percent in the June 3 primary, forcing the special convention in the district, which covers areas around Des Moines and Council Bluffs. Candidates were eliminated on each convention ballot until the fifth vote, in which former Grassley staffer David Young, 46, defeated tea party-backed state Sen. Brad Zaun.
“Young will be a very strong candidate against far-out liberal Stacey Appel,” said former Iowa GOP Chairman Kayne Robinson. “He is smart and a very hard working-conservative who knows his stuff.”
Some non-libertarian conservatives in the state have been saying privately that they were uncomfortable with what they called a “purge” of libertarians from the Iowa party after Gov. Terry Branstad’s forces took over the helm recently.