Terry Branstad had hinted at it, but makes it official: Democrat Mike Mauro, the defeated Secretary of State who leaves office today, will be joining Team Terry as state labor commissioner.
desmoinesdem notes: "Branstad never did much to help Mauro's opponent Matt Schultz, in stark contrast to his longstanding and highly visible advocacy for attorney general candidate Brenna Findley" (who Branstad also hired as chief legal counsel).
Mauro was by far the best qualified Secretary of State we've had in my two decades in Iowa, and his defeat in its own way is almost as serious a loss as the defeat of the judges. We go from having a Secretary of State who wants to help people vote to one who wants to make it harder to vote. True, the nature of Mauro's new job will be different, but hopefully this appointment means Branstad isn't interested in Schultz's grandstanding agenda of cracking down on the imaginary problem of "voter fraud" in Iowa.
Chet Culver is doing a farewell lap next week; the Iowa City stop is the Hamburg Inn at 12:30 Thursday.
Republicans had a rousing nominating convention last night for the 1/18 Senate District 35 election and chose former Cyclone footballer Jack Whitver (last seen running a quixotic 2006 effort against Ako Abdul-Samad in central Des Moines; the new turf in northern Polk is waaaay friendlier.) Craig Robinson and Art Smith have good on the scene write-ups. Democrats meet Monday.