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Meet the New Secretary of State

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Iowans also elected a new Secretary of State this year, Paul Pate of Cedar Rapids. But the new Secretary of State is really the old Secretary of State.  Paul Pate served as Iowa's Secretary of State for four years (1995-1999) and was a State Senator for six years (1989-1995). With all of the big races on the ballot this year, the Secretary of State's race didn't get a lot of attention.  But it is a very important office - the Secretary of State oversees all of the elections in Iowa.  So we thought you might want to know a little bit about our new Secretary of State Paul Pate.

A nationally recognized small business leader by the Small Business Administration, Paul Pate is the President of Pate Asphalt Systems in Marion and recently served as Mayor of Cedar Rapids from 2002 –2006. While Mayor, Pate was elected President of the Iowa League of Cities representing over 870 municipalities and served as Co-Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Committee on Homelessness.

Previously, he served as Iowa Secretary of State from 1995-1999 and represented NE Cedar Rapids, Marion and parts of Linn, Buchanan and Delaware Counties in the Iowa Senate from 1989-1995.

Paul and his wife Jane of 35 years reside in Cedar Rapids. They have three adult children, Jennifer, Amber, Paul III and five grandchildren, Brandon, Chloe, Hope, Adalynn and Nolan.

 "Iowans do not want, nor can they afford, to have Iowa's Chief Election Commissioner be a partisan political operative from either party," says Pate.  Pate says he wants to promote participation in the election process, a key priority for Iowans with Disabilities in Action (ID Action).  There won't be time for the new Secretary of State to propose legislation this session, but we do know that other groups (ACLU-Iowa and League of Women Voters of Iowa) will be asking for legislation that will allow Iowans to register to vote online, from their computers.  

Because voting is such an important right, we will be tracking all election bills and any legislation that would help increase voter participation (or pose barriers to participation). You can find out more about him on his campaign website here.