First in the Nation, IowaGOP.org is the premier site for Republicans of Iowa

Get Updates



Iowa GOP Legal Opinions

The state laws pertaining to ballot vacancies and conventions can be confusing. Below are links to PDF files containing the official legal opinions used and referenced by Secretary of State Matt Schultz and Republican Party of Iowa legal council Bill Talbot.

As the Republican Party of Iowa worked to ensure a clear caucus through convention process, the party did not have a formal statement or ruling from the Secretary of State. The Republican Party of Iowa conferred with its legal council, attorney Bill Talbot, who determined that a ballot vacancy did not exist until the conclusion of the state canvass. With the possibility of a candidate for U.S. Senate not receiving the necessary 35% of the vote, the possibility of the state convention taking place, before the votes had been canvassed became a sincere possibility. Because of this, the Republican State Central Committee voted to move the date of the state convention to early July.

Click here to read the original legal opinion from attorney Bill Talbot.

In the legal opinion, Mr. Talbot referenced case law of Zellmer vs. Smith.

Click here to read the case law of Zellmer v. Smith being referenced.

After Mr. Talbot’s legal opinion, the Secretary of State issued a formal written opinion regarding the convention and nominees for ballot vacancy. Secretary Matt Shultz offered an official opinion regarding the issue in question and the legal opinion on ballot vacancies in Iowa, stating that in his opinion it would be okay to have the state convention on the date originally proposed, June 14th.

Click here to read the formal written opinion issued by the Secretary of State.

In response to an official written statement by the Secretary of State, attorney Bill Talbot issued a revised legal opinion.

Click here to read the amended legal opinion by attorney Bill Talbot.

Based upon a now official opinion from Secretary Schultz, an amended opinion by Bill Talbot and feedback from a number of counties, the State Central Committee voted to reinstate the original state convention date of June 14.