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Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn will run for re-election in January, a state party spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday.
The chairman will be a central figure for what are likely to be hotly contested first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Republican Party chairmen in two other early primary states, New Hampshire and South Carolina, are stepping down from their posts. Strawn does not yet have any serious competition for the job.
Strawn, a lawyer and former aide to Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), became chairman of the party in January 2009. He helped with Arizona Sen. John McCain’s caucus efforts until July 2007 when the eventual Republican nominee shed much of his staff amid budget challenges. Strawn is a co-owner of the Iowa Barnstormers, an Arena Football League team based in Des Moines.
The 2010 cycle was good to Iowa Republicans. Former Gov. Terry Branstad defeated Gov. Chet Culver (D), and all three Republican members of the Congressional delegation were re-elected. They also picked up the secretary of state’s office and seats in both chambers of the state Legislature, growing their minority in the Senate and becoming the majority in the House.