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Carroll Elected New Co-Chairman of Iowa GOP

Danny Carroll - John Brady
Carroll will serve as co-chairman of the Iowa GOP for the remainder of 2014.

Danny Carroll, a former Iowa state legislator and an active member of the Grinnell community, was recently elected to be the new co-chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. The position, similar to that of a vice-chairman, fell under vacancy after David Fischer, the former co-chairman stepped down in order to run as a candidate for the Iowa State Senate. Carroll will serve the rest of the term, which lasts for the remainder of 2014.

Despite this transiency, Carroll conveyed a concrete set of objectives to serve as framework for his term, which he voiced to the State Committee, the governing body of the Iowa GOP.

“I want the party to be available to all candidates and treat everybody the same, to promote the policies and principles of the Republican platform and see that the party is run efficiently and responsibly.”

According to Carroll, he was first contacted by a friend about the vacant position, and was elected into the position in early February by the State Central Committee. Carroll attributes his newly earned state leadership position to his broad support group, which he has gained through family, church, community and a long political career.

Carroll’s political career began in 1983, when a friend approached him suggesting that he run for a position on the Poweshiek County Board of Supervisors. After a 10-year career as a county leader, Carroll moved on to become an Iowa State Legislator from 1994-2006. Carroll’s new position as co-chairman of the Iowa GOP follows a hiatus in his political career.

“Campaigns are grueling and demanding and I just moved on to other things. I have five grandkids now and I enjoy spending time with them. However, through the years, frequently, people who were thinking about getting into politics would call me, wanting to benefit from my experience,” Carroll said. “As state co-chair, I can help the party assist people who are interested in running for office and get involved in public service. It was a nice fit for me.”

As co-chairman, Carroll not only assists the current chairman, A.J. Spiker, but also presides over a number of state committees and attends regular meetings held at the Iowa Republican headquarters, located in Des Moines. Apart from these responsibilities, Carroll has targeted party organization and fiscal responsibility as points of emphasis he plans on addressing.

“It’s important to me that people know that their money is being used wisely and efficiently. I think it’s important if Republicans are going to try to make the case that they should be in charge of the government, we should demonstrate our good management in the way we run our party.”

According to Carroll, as co-chairman, he also plans on upholding the Republican Party platform and confronting fiscal issues. Specifically, he expressed qualms concerning the feasibility of future generations bearing the burden of debt and inflation.

“There are a number of issues reflected in the Republican Party platform. In general, I would just like to see less government. Probably one of the things that weighs on me the most is our mounting debt … I have five granddaughters. It’s disturbing to think that I—or we—could leave them with that kind of debt to handle.”

Carroll and his wife, Joy, moved to Grinnell in 1975 and have since been active members of the community. Former chairman of the Iowa Family Policy Center, Carroll is also still largely involved in the Iowa Family Leader organization and in the Grinnell Christian Church.

“My wife and I, for a number of years, were foster parents and had a lot of foster kids in our home. I’m also actively involved in my church,” Carroll said. “Grinnell is our home. It’s a safe place to live. Our kids were born and raised [here].”

Carroll has also been an active participant in RAGBRAI, the annual statewide bicycle ride across Iowa.

“For about the past 10-12 years, I’ve been involved with RAGBRAI, and I’ve ridden in RAGBRAI six or seven times, so I’ve had the opportunity to get around the state a lot that way, on a bicycle.”

Instead of broadening his scope of Iowa by way of bicycle, Carroll hopes that his new position will help him grow better acquainted with other places and people in the state. As he assumes the role of co-chairman and transitions from a local leader to state leader, Carroll places an importance on balancing his personal life and political career, and expressed plans to remain in Grinnell after his term expires.

“I try to keep a careful balance. I like being busy and my wife, Joy, helps me a lot, too. I just take it from year to year. If I feel like I can be productive and enjoy it, I probably will [continue my political career], but politics kind of goes through cycles and things swing back and forth.”


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