Iowa Democratic Party Chair resigns following caucus disarray


Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price announced his resignation Feb. 12 following fallout from the Feb. 3 caucuses.

Jake Webster

The Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) Chair Troy Price announced his resignation late Wednesday amid fallout and criticism stemming from last week’s Iowa caucuses.

“Serving as Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Price said in his resignation letter. “When I took over this party, we were still reeling from a bruising 2016 election cycle. Many people locally and across the country believed that Democrats in Iowa were dead, and that we would never see victories again.” 

During Price’s tenure as chair, Iowa Democrats gained two congressional seats and the state auditor’s office in the 2018 midterm elections. Price’s resignation comes after the Feb. 3 Iowa Democratic caucuses that were plagued by delays, errors in reporting and questions over whether the caucus process and Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status should continue.

“[T]here is no doubt that the process of reporting results did not work,” Price said in his resignation letter. “It was simply unacceptable. It is why I called for an independent review of the decisions and processes that lead to this failure.”

While doors to Iowa’s caucuses closed at 7 p.m. Feb. 3, the first results were not released for nearly 21 hours – an unprecedented delay. Those results are now subject to a recanvassing and potential recount following a request from the campaigns of Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.

It took three days for the Iowa Democratic Party to release results from 100 percent of precincts, during which the state party and caucus process faced scrutiny from national commentators. A New York Times analysis has found those results contain dozens of mathematical errors in delegate allocations, with one in six precincts containing inconsistencies.

“While it is my desire to stay in this role and see this process through to completion, I do believe it is time for the Iowa Democratic Party to begin looking forward, and my presence in my current role makes that more difficult,” Price said in his resignation letter.

An interim chair will be elected Saturday by an emergency meeting of the IDP’s State Central Committee. Price’s resignation will be effective following that election, according to his letter.

“Whomever is elected will oversee the completion of the recanvass and recount process and begin the process of healing our party,” Price said in his resignation letter.

Price said in his letter “in spite of the challenges” following the caucuses, the party has more money than ever before at this point in an election cycle and the infrastructure the party has will built will “turn Iowa Blue in November.”