A.J. Spiker will resign as chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, the organization announced Saturday, a boon to Gov. Terry Branstad (R) and his allies, who've frequently skirmished with the former Ron Paul hand.
Spiker was Paul's Iowa campaign vice chair in 2012 and became GOP chair the same year. Word of his departure comes as allies of Branstad reasserted a major presence in the state party. The Des Moines register reported that most of the state convention delegates elected Saturday were Branstad supporters.
In a release, the state party said a new chair would be selected near the end of the month.
"On Friday, March 7th, in a letter sent to members of the Republican Party of Iowa's State Central Committee, Chairman A.J. Spiker announced he was stepping down from his role as Chairman of the party effective upon election of a new State Chairman," said the release. "In the letter mailed Friday afternoon, Spiker announced that elections for a new Chairman would take place during the State Central Committee's quarterly business meeting on March 29th."
Spiker rose to power as a slate of Paul backers seized the state party reins in 2012. He's been knocked for poor fundraising and state convention scheduling decisions.
Spiker will become an adviser to the PAC of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Doug Stafford, the PAC's executive director, said that is why Spiker is stepping down.
"Spiker leaves the Republican Party of Iowa with more than $300,000 cash on hand, zero debt and with a voter registration advantage for Republicans over the Iowa Democratic Party," said the state GOP release.