NewsLocal News


Iowa Democrats pick interim chair following bungled caucuses

Posted at 1:21 PM, Feb 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-16 14:21:03-05

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Democrats on Saturday picked a legislator to serve as interim chairman of the state party, after the previous leader resigned following a meltdown in tabulating results from the lead-off presidential caucuses.

The party’s State Central Committee voted to install Iowa state Rep. Mark Smith, of Marshalltown, as interim chairman, replacing Troy Price, the Des Moines Register reported. Smith is the minority leader of the Iowa House and was first elected in 2000.

The vote came a day after party officials agreed to hire two high-profile lawyers to investigate the factors that led to a breakdown in tallying the results on Feb. 3, when problems with a mobile app and other issues prevented results from being released.

It took until Feb. 6 for the state party, which operates the series of roughly 1,700 local meetings statewide, to issue what it said are complete results.

In those figures, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by two state delegate equivalents out of 2,152 counted. That is a margin of 0.09 percentage points.

The Associated Press said it was unable to declare a winner based on the available information. The results as reported by the Iowa Democratic Party, the AP believes, may not be fully accurate.

On Wednesday, Price announced his resignation, saying the party “deserved better than what happened on caucus night.”

Price received a standing ovation Saturday as he stepped down as chairman, the Register reported. Price and Smith hugged after Smith secured a majority of votes from a four-person ballot.