Today Republicans in the Iowa House of Representatives have begun the long process of rebuilding. Today House Republicans have decided to replace House Minority Leader Christopher Rants with Kraig Paulsen. This is the first step of what is shaping up to be a long and painful process of rebuilding the Republican Party of Iowa.
Outgoing House Minority Leader Christopher Rants has presided over three straight election cycles of Republican losses. Rants has been in the House of Representatives since he first won election to the office in 1992. At one time Rants may have been an effective leader, but lately his leadership has brought some hard times to the Iowa GOP.
His replacement, Representative Kraig Paulsen, first entered into the House in 2002. When one looks at Paulsen’s voting record it quickly becomes evident that he is a strong no nonsense conservative. He has fought for the conservative ideals of smaller government, lower taxes, and personal responsibility. This summer he fought against new taxes on tobacco, he has fought for more restrictions on illegal immigrants and those that hire illegal immigrants, and he also supported the Voter Identification Act; just to name a few. Paulsen has shown that he holds the party platform in high regard. Now time will tell if he has the leadership skills to back that up.
In my humble opinion, RPI has suffered through these losses because of a lack of effective leadership. It remains to be seen if Paulsen will be able to remedy the situation. However I think that the ouster of Rants will go a long way toward showing Republicans that we RPI and our elected officials recognize that there is a problem and that they want to fix it. Never underestimate the power of change.