Longtime Iowa Democratic political staffer Troy Price announced this afternoon that he’s running to be chair of the state party, which was vacated when Derek Eadon resigned late last month. The election for the position will be on July 22 at the IDP State Central Committee meeting.
Price would bring a wealth of experience in Iowa politics to the job. He was the executive director of the party during the 2014 cycle, he ran the LGBT organization One Iowa, worked on multiple presidential campaigns, including as Hillary Clinton’s state political director in 2016, and served in roles in the Vilsack and Culver administrations. Many activists and Democratic leaders have been concerned about quickly getting the state party back on track, and Price would be able to pitch his familiarity with IDP operations to hit the ground running.
He also has strong relationships with party activists, labor leaders and donors. Some labor unions had reportedly not been as close with the state party after the 2016 elections, and Price will likely try to rebuild those close alliances. A sizable part of the IDP chair role, one which many people don’t always fully appreciate, is keeping people behind the scenes happy so that everyone is on board to help push forward your plan and vision.
This move means Price is stepping down from his role as campaign manager for Todd Prichard. The Prichard campaign announced that John Davis will join the team as a senior strategist to run the day-to-day operations, while Jesse Harris is coming on board as Prichard’s policy adviser.
Price likely heads into the up-for-grabs chair election with a slight advantage over the potential competition thanks to his experience and connections. Julie Stauch and Kurt Meyer are likely to run as well. Meanwhile, Starting Line hears that Bill Brauch told friends and SCC members today that he has decided not to run. Matt Paul, Laura Hubka and Sandy Dockendorf also withdrew their names a few days ago.
The following is the email Price sent to SCC members:
Dear Members of the Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee,
My name is Troy Price, and I am running to be the next chair of our Iowa Democratic Party. As someone who has worked for two Democratic Governors, served as Executive Director of the state party and worked on several statewide campaigns, I have had a chance to work with and get to know a great number of you. However, for those that I have not had a chance to connect with, I wanted to tell you a little about myself.
Growing up gay in a small town in eastern Iowa, it was easy to feel like you were alone. Luckily, I found a place where people where standing up for me – as it turns out that place was the Democratic Party. That’s why I have committed myself to our party and to helping it be successful — no matter what it takes.
Like you, I have watched in recent election cycles with growing frustration and anger about how our party continues to lose touch with the very people who we are trying to help most. We have focused on tactics, not vision, and in the process have lost some of our base. Simply put, no one has been buying what we were selling.
Now, we stand at a critical juncture. With an unpopular President, a GOP that has worked tirelessly to shove our country backwards, and progressive grassroots activism (the likes of which we have not seen in a decade) our party has an opportunity to win in 2018 at all levels of the ticket. However, we will only be successful if we operate with deliberate actions, keeping in mind who our platform serves (people!) and how to successfully engage people in the process. I am running to be the next chair of the IDP, because I have the commitment, experience, relationships, and passion to grow our party so we can win next year… and beyond.
I have previously served as Executive Director of IDP, where among other things I developed and managed an $8 million coordinated campaign – the largest non-presidential coordinated campaign in Iowa’s history. My state leadership roles also include two presidential campaigns, staring with President Obama’s re-election in 2012, building and nurturing donor and organizational relationships all across the state. I have developed and managed communications for two Democratic Governors. Plus, I ran One Iowa, the State’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, during a time of great challenge following the loss in 2010 of three Supreme Court justices who supported the Varnum decision.
Throughout it all, I have seen what drives the party. It is not the chair, or the elected officials – It is all of you. Activists and volunteers who share the common belief that our state should be a better place where everyone has a chance to succeed. It is how I approached any position I have had in politics, and it is what I would do as chair.
Together, we have a lot we need to accomplish, and I would utilize my experiences to help move our party forward by:
- Strengthening our relationships with our partners and raise the resources we need to win; I will utilize my relationships throughout the State and the nation to do so;
- Developing a message that we as a party can use at all levels – not just with committees but also candidates, and start using that message immediately so there is no question who our party is and what our party stands for;
- Creating a solid caucus-to-convention program, working with the campaigns and you to develop and implement an effective and transparent plan;
- Supporting our identity caucuses and give them the tools they need to help us grow our party; and
- Protecting our First In The Nation Caucuses, and continuing to build upon the caucus expansion efforts we implemented during my tenure at the IDP to increase participation and streamline the process.
The challenges we face as a party are real, but together we can meet them head on. I enter this race offering both my past experiences and goals for the future. I ask for your vote so that together, we can build a Democratic Party where all are welcome as we work together toward a stronger, progressive future.
by Pat Rynard