Bertrand Relinquishes Leadership Role in Iowa Senate to Focus on Re-election

On Friday evening, State Senator Rick Bertrand relinquished his leadership role in the Iowa Senate.  The move allows Bertrand to focus on his re-election campaign.  Bertrand’s district is one of the most competitive districts in the state.  As he notes in his letter to his senate colleagues, for Republicans to gain control of the chamber, they will have to hold his seat.

Below is the email Sen. Bertrand sent to senators last night.

December 27, 2013

Senators…

Leadership has many faces, and as we approach this year’s session the sour taste of the 2012 election still lingers in my mouth. Coming up two seats short of the Majority was not only a tragedy for Republicans, but for all of Iowa.

As the first Republican Senator from Sioux City proper in 30 years I reflect on my future in the Iowa Senate.  I remind myself why I ran for public office and why the Iowa Senate.   I am a conservative with conservative values, and like you I came to fight for a fiscal responsibility, we came to fight for a sound business and tax climate, we came to fight for a small and limited State government, and we came to fight for the unborn.  Friends the reality is that none of this agenda is even a discussion without winning the Majority 2014.

Colleagues we have all analyzed the map, and it is blatantly apparent that for us to win the majority we must hold our seats…and it’s not a secret– and I say this with humility– my seat will be tough to hold.

My friends I want what you want…but we must win elections. Like you I am beginning to feel a Republican tailwind starting to swirl, and I am extremely positive as I haven’t drawn an opponent to date, but it would be unlikely one will not emerge,  and with that being said my focus for the next 11 months must be on my re-election strategy, holding this seat, and winning the majority.  With this time commitment and focus I have proposed to Senator Dix that I should open my position as your Minority Whip to another colleague as I dig in for this bumpy election ride. It’s the right thing to do.

Leadership is not about titles…it’s about results, and I am not downplaying or overplaying  the importance of the WHIP role, nor the challenges of any of my fellow Senators elections, but I have decided the best way to serve my caucus in 2014 is to RUN and WIN Senate Seat 7.

I look forward to seeing you all in a couple weeks…

Respectfully,

Iowa State Senator Rick Bertrand

Senator Bill Dix, the minority leader in the senate, also emailed the members of the Republican caucus on Friday night.

Colleagues,

This afternoon, Senator Bertrand announced he will officially step down as Whip in order to focus on his reelection effort.

In speaking with Senator Bertrand, I know this was a difficult decision. I respect his choice to focus his efforts on Senate District 7, and help Senate Republicans claim the majority in 2014. I want to thank Senator Bertrand for his leadership as Whip.

We will hold the Senate Republican Whip election when we meet for our January 7th Caucus at the Capitol. Our Caucus is scheduled from 1-4 p.m., and this will be the first order of business on the agenda after we get settled in and get our meeting under way.

I look forward to seeing all of you at our Caucus.

Thank you,

Bill