Republican elector renounces position


Photo: Adam Ring/Iowa State Daily

Melinda Wadsley resigned her position as an elector for the Iowa Republican Party. Wadsley claimed support for Ron Paul at the convention, rather than Mitt Romney, the party’s eventual nominee.

Tedi Mathis

Melinda Wadsley, a 2002 graduate of Iowa State, has resigned her position as an elector for the Republican Party in Iowa after announcing support for Ron Paul.

A.J. Spiker, chairman of Iowa’s Republican Party, originally asked for Wadsley’s resignation on Dec. 13, 2011, after she was elected to represent the 4th District of Iowa on June 15, 2011. She chose to resign more recently on her own free will, saying she could not conscientiously cast her vote for Mitt Romney. Wadsley said Spiker is working tirelessly to ensure all electoral votes from the Republican Party go to Romney.

Wadsley has also cited many other reasons for her discontent with the Republican Party, one of these issues being two new rules put forth by Romney’s lawyer. The first allows rules to be changed between conventions, and the second changes the selection of delegates.

Wadsley said the rules serve the purpose of taking power from both the delegates, and the people they represent. “With these rule changes in place, Ronald Regan would never have been our president,” she said.

Steffen Schmidt, university professor of political sciences professor at Iowa State, does not agree with Wadley’s decision. “Why she came out and publicly announced this, I do not know,” Schmidt said. He continued on to say he believes she should have been what is known as a “faceless elector,” a person who does not cast their vote for the party endorsed candidate.

Schmidt also went on to explain the problem is bigger than just one elector. “I think for the most part [the GOP] doesn’t care,” he said. “There is bad blood between the Ron Paul supporters and the main-stream Republicans.”

This “bad blood” played out through the convention in Tampa, Fla., Wadsley said, where Ron Paul supporters were not welcomed.

Labeling herself as having been a “straight-ticket Republican voter,” Wadsley has always been passionate about politics. She said she first became aware of Paul in 2008, saying: “It was the first time I found a candidate who I agreed with 100 percent.” She continued to track his campaign from there.

Wadsley now serves as director of development for Liberty Iowa, a political group that she says exists in order to restore the Republican Party back to its roots, a “group rooted in Constitutional Conservatism.” She is still unsure as to how she will vote in the upcoming election. “For the first time, I am an undecided voter.”