Paulsen vs. Rants

Hiawatha Republican State Rep. Kraig Paulsen wants to be House Minority Leader, according to the DM Register:

Republican Christopher Rants faces a challenge to his position as House minority leader after his party lost seats in Tuesday’s elections.

Republicans have lost seats in the House for three election cycles in a row. Rants has been in a key leadership position during that time. In unofficial results on Tuesday, Democrats increased their majority from 53 to 56 seats.

House Republicans meet Monday and are expected to decide if they should appoint a different legislator to lead their party.

Rep. Kraig Paulsen, a Republican from Hiawatha, said this morning that he has asked his peers to consider appointing him to the position.

“I think the caucus is still trying to work through some of that. We’ll have to see where all of that comes out. It’s not a secret that I’m running for leader,” Paulsen said.

 Being minority leader is a pretty thankless job, and it requires to you to become a partisan warrior who can articulate your side’s position while also punching the majority. But being a top leader, even a minority leader, heightens your power and influence, which could be good for Cedar Rapids.

Rants is a forceful, fiery and articulate GOP voice, but it’s tough to keep a leadership post for very long when you lose seats. He had to know this was coming. Not sure how it will end.

UPDATE — I talked to Paulson this afternoon. He said basically he believes the House GOP is moving in the wrong direction and needs fresh leadership. When he was elected to the House, there were 56 GOP members. Now there are 44.

“I think it’s time for  a change,” Paulsen said. “The caucus needs to have that discussion.”

And so they will. Stay tuned.

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