Matt Strawn, the Iowa GOP chairman who has been embroiled in controversy since the Jan. 3 Iowa caucus results, is resigning, he announced Tuesday. “It is only because the Iowa GOP has returned as a strong and relevant voice in Iowa politics that I am now able to evaluate all the competing priorities in my personal, business and political life. The party is strong and has the resources in place for victory in November,” Strawn said in a statement. “Now is the time to transition to new leadership.” Strawn, who has chaired the state party since 2009, left his post after the Iowa GOP fumbled the results of the caucuses, initially declaring Mitt Romney the 8-vote winner. Two weeks later, on the eve of the South Carolina primary, the party reversed that decision and certified Rick Santorum the winner by 34 votes. The state GOP statement declaring Santorum the winner was released “in order to clarify conflicting reports.”
Neither Strawn’s resignation letter — nor the video message he released to accompany it — mentioned the kerfuffle over the Iowa caucus results that sparked calls for Strawn to step down. After declaring Romney the winner, the party later said that the results were inconclusive because there were a number of precincts where the ballots were missing.
David Yepsen, a long-time political columnist for the Des Moines Register, said the conflicting results could make the first-in-the-nation caucuses less respected.