- The Washington Times - Friday, March 25, 2022

The Republican Party chair in Iowa says Democrats should think twice before considering a proposal that would hold primaries in other places ahead of the Hawkeye State caucuses, which traditionally kick off presidential election cycles.

If the Democratic National Committee “gives up on Iowa, this is literally the middle finger at rural America,” GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann told Fox News.

While he doesn’t agree with Democrats on many things, he said he stands “shoulder to shoulder” with Iowa Democrats who are fighting to preserve their state’s status.

“Since the caucuses of 2020 I have been very vocal in both state and national media about Iowa being first, the reasons we should be first,” he said. “If I’m the Iowa Democrats right now, I’m saying ‘for crying out loud, don’t give up on us.’”

“We made Barack Obama,” Mr. Kaufmann told Fox. “We gave Ted Cruz, a Cuban American, a win. That’s the character of our people.”

He warned national Democrats as they get ready to debate a draft proposal on March 28 that could shake up the election calendar in 2024.

Some party members fear that Iowa and New Hampshire, which holds the first primary, lack major urban centers and are too white, meaning they don’t reflect the diversity of the party or set the right tone for a nominee.

Iowa messed up its vote-reporting during the 2020 caucus, and Nevada wants to turn its caucus into a primary that comes before Iowa and New Hampshire, fueling the debate.

A Democratic source balked at criticism from Iowa conservatives who think a shake-up would be an insult to the heartland, telling Fox News “this is not a credible argument as many states across the country have large rural populations.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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