Iowa Secretary of State election, 2014

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Iowa Secretary of State Election

Primary Date:
June 3, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Paul Pate Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Matt Schultz Republican Party
Matt Schultz.png

Iowa State Executive Elections
Top Ballot
Governor Lieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney General
Down Ballot
Treasurer, Auditor, Agriculture Commissioner

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The Iowa Secretary of State election took place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Matt Schultz (R) was first elected in 2010 and was eligible to seek re-election in 2014. He decided not to seek re-election to the office, opting to run for a U.S. House seat.

Former Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (R), who previously served as secretary of state from 1995 to 1999, won election to a four-year term.

Pate faced Brad Anderson (D), Jake Porter (L) and New Independent Party candidate Spencer Highland. The past three elections detailed in the past elections linked here show narrowing margins of victory, setting up a close election on November 4. Learn more about where the candidates stood on the issues by jumping to the campaign themes section and debates section.

This seat was targeted during the general election by SOS for Democracy and SOS for SOS, outside groups who were lobbying for liberal and conservative secretary of state candidates, respectively.[1][2]

Iowa is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system. The primary is closed, but voters are allowed to change their political party affiliation on election day.[3]


General election

Republican Party Paul Pate - Former Secretary of State Green check mark transparent.png[4]
Democratic Party Brad Anderson - Political consultant, former gubernatorial aide[5]
Libertarian Party Jake Porter - Member of the Libertarian National Committee and 2010 nominee[6]
Independent New Independent Party, Spencer Highland[4]

Filed for other office

Republican Party Matt Schultz - Incumbent


General election

Secretary of State of Iowa, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPaul Pate 48.5% 529,275
     Democratic Brad Anderson 46.6% 509,202
     Libertarian Jake Porter 3% 32,889
     New Independent Party Spencer Highland 1.8% 19,945
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 769
Total Votes 1,092,080
Election Results via Iowa Secretary of State.

Campaign themes

The following sections detail the policy positions offered by candidates for Iowa Secretary of State in 2014. Each section is a verbatim quote of material from candidate websites.

Note: All of the candidates had campaign websites except for Spencer Highland.

Brad Anderson

As Secretary of State, I will focus our time and resources to find new ways to encourage Iowans to vote; to ensure our right to vote is kept safe and secure; and to make it easier to compile and file information we need to start or maintain a business.

I believe we can do this by tapping the Internet and other digital tools, as well as fostering a sense of old-fashioned collaboration.

Iowa has a history of clean and fair elections, which we must work hard to maintain. Using technology and innovation we can find stronger, less expensive and less burdensome ways to protect against potential fraud. Our taxpayer dollars should be used to maintain the integrity of Iowa’s electoral process, not wasted on partisan actions that intimidate voters and suppress turnout.

We value civic participation, innovation and fairness, and Iowa’s reputation is on the line. Together, we can build on our strengths to ensure Iowa remains an innovative beacon with an electoral process that is a model for the nation.

I look forward to meeting with Iowans across the state and finding solutions to do more that cost less. [7]

—Brad Anderson's campaign website, (2014), [8]

Paul Pate

With the secretary of state office becoming an open seat, Iowa needs a proven leader who will promote participation in the election process while ensuring safeguards to prevent voter fraud and serve the business community without political motives. Iowans do not want nor can they afford to have the office of chief elections commissioner for the state occupied by a partisan political operative from either party. I have served the people of Iowa as Secretary of State and hold the proven experience to be that nonpartisan leader we desire. [7]

—Paul Pate's campaign website, (2014), [9]

Jake Porter

Jake Porter is the only candidate who has agreed to cut his salary in half if elected, is serious about restoring voting rights of those who have served their time, and is the only candidate who is independent of the two major political parties.

Fiscal Responsibility and A Transparent Office:

  • Maintain An Independent Office
  • Use technology to make the office more efficient and effective
  • Cut his own salary in half by over $50,000 a year which is in line with the median Iowa household income. (Don’t feel bad for Jake. Despite taking a pay cut, Jake’s part-time private investments and business ventures will more than make up for any pay cut he takes and Jake does not plan to serve decades in government)

Improve The Voting Process:

  • Allow online voter registration in the state of Iowa like many other states have done
  • Work to develop a secure system that allows Iowans to vote anywhere in the state for their local elections. This can be accomplished by having a system in place that prints your local paper ballot and is tied into a real-time system (retail stores use a similar system for inventory) to make sure someone doesn’t attempt to vote twice. (Note: The technology exists, but upgrading all County Auditor offices and the Secretary of State’s office, securing it, and testing it could take several years before it could be implemented)
  • Fight fraud without disenfranchising voters
  • Maintain Iowa’s simple paper ballot and protect our elections by fighting online voting machines that can easily be compromised
  • Ask the Governor to restore voting rights to felons who have served their time and paid for their crime

Make It Easier To Do Business

  • Make it easier to start a business by improved online filings, providing how-to-guides, and easy forms to fill out
  • Stop dangerous ideas to promote one business over another by adding economic development into the Secretary of State’s office
  • Fight legislation that would include placing bureaucratic government into the Secretary of State’s office which would greatly slow down the hiring process and drive up costs of doing business in Iowa

Customer Service

  • Each customer (candidate, business owner) that uses the Secretary of State’s office will be asked to provide a customer satisfaction survey so Jake can implement better ideas and reward good customer service.
  • The layout of the Secretary of State’s office will re-designed to make it easier to file paperwork and eliminate inefficiencies in the Secretary of State’s office.


—Jake Porter's campaign website, (2014), [10]


October 3 debate

Paul Pate and Brad Anderson discussed their views on voter ID and administration of absentee ballots during a debate for the public affairs program Iowa Press. Pate argued on behalf of a voter ID requirement, citing high bipartisan support in polls and the need to protect the integrity of elections. Anderson argued that a new voter ID law was unnecessary as state law already allows election inspectors to ask for identification if they suspect fraud.[11]

Pate and Anderson also revealed differences over the use of third-party groups to deliver absentee ballots to poll locations. This practice, used to increase voter turnout by both parties, was criticized by Pate because of the potential for ballot manipulation by political operatives. He also pointed to the ease of returning an absentee ballot by mail. Anderson countered that third-party groups ensure timely delivery of absentee ballots as elections near and protect the rights of voters with disabilities.[11]

Past elections


Secretary of State of Iowa, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMatt Schultz 49.8% 537,758
     Democratic Michael Mauro Incumbent 47% 508,121
     Libertarian Jake Porter 3.1% 33,854
     Independent Write-in votes 0.1% 548
Total Votes 1,080,281


Secretary of State of Iowa, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMichael Mauro 53.6% 541,234
     Republican Mary Ann Hanusa 46.3% 467,561
     Independent Scattering 0.1% 1,157
Total Votes 1,009,952


Secretary of State of Iowa, 2002
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngChet Culver 53.5% 526,600
     Republican Mike Hartwig 42.7% 420,290
     Libertarian Sylvia Sanders Olson 2.2% 21,434
     Green Don Arenz 1.7% 16,366
     Independent Write-in votes 0% 351
Total Votes 985,041

Key deadlines

Deadline Event
March 14, 2014 Filing deadline (Major party candidates)
June 3, 2014 Primary election
August 15, 2014 Filing deadline (other candidates)
November 4, 2014 General election
December 1, 2014 State Canvass of general election votes deadline
January 1, 2015 Inauguration day for attorney general, secretary of state, auditor and treasurer
January 13, 2015 Inauguration day for governor and lieutenant governor

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Iowa + Secretary + State + Election"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Iowa Secretary of State election, 2014 News Feed

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See also

External links

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