By O. Kay Henderson (Radio Iowa)
A group of national Democrats has taken another step toward excluding Iowa from a group of five states to host the first voting in the 2024 presidential campaign.
Mo Elleithee, a member of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws panel, said it shows the party is not being “held hostage” by history.
“We wanted to send a message that the Democratic Party’s values, that the Democratic Party’s coalition is ever evolving,” Elleithee said during a meeting last night.
Elleithee and other national Democrats are giving party officials in Georgia and New Hampshire more time to work out voting details for their presidential primaries. The Democratic National Committee will meet February 4 to approve the new list of early states and end the Iowa Democratic Party’s first-in-the-nation Caucuses.
Former Iowa Congressman Dave Nagle of Cedar Falls was chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party during the 1984 presidential campaign. Nagle has argued Iowa Democrats should ignore the new rules.
“We need to plant our flag and we need what I did in 1984 when we confronted the same situation and hold our Caucuses irrespective of what the DNC thinks or says or does,” Nagle said yesterday. “…The constitution still protects the free right of assembly. We can do the Caucus whenever we want.”
Two former Iowa Republican Party leaders joined Nagle at a news conference in the state capitol. David Oman, a former co-chair of the Republican Party of Iowa, said he hopes Iowa Democrats choose a new party chair this Saturday who will fight to keep their Caucuses first. Former Iowa Republican Party chairman Mike Mahaffey said the Caucuses are a tradition worth preserving because they’ve given “little known candidates” like Barack Obama a chance to compete and win.
Last summer, the Republican National Committee voted to keep the Iowa Republican Party’s 2024 Caucuses first in the nation.