Presidential Hopefuls Court Local Politicians in Early-Voting States Like Iowa

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker entered a fundraiser in a cavernous barn here on a recent sunny Saturday afternoon to the flashes of cellphone cameras and throngs of people seeking a handshake and a selfie.

The front-runner in Iowa among those seeking the GOP nomination was the guest of honor, but he wasn’t raising money for a White House bid. The haul would go to Chad Airhart, the recorder for Dallas County in central Iowa.

“Thanks for letting us come by and join with you; thanks for your leadership,” Walker told Airhart, as the recorder’s supporters dined on bratwurst and baked beans, surrounded by hanging cow hides and saddles. “I’m honored to be here today.”

In much of the nation, a top presidential prospect wouldn’t bother showing up to raise money for a local official who handles paperwork for a county of 66,000 people.

But in Iowa, local politicians are showered in love for one important reason: They are gate-keepers to voters and party activists who will provide access to their networks and commit time to White House candidates hoping to make a splash in the state that holds the first presidential nominating contest.

“I don’t know if spoiled is the right word,” said Airhart, who has endorsed Walker, even though the governor has not formally announced his candidacy. “I would say we’re blessed in Iowa to have this opportunity.”

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2015 Blue Jean Bash – May 16th 2015

photos by Dave Davidson

Scott Walker PAC Taps Two Iowa GOP Leaders

Two Iowa GOP leaders with central roles in county finance operations have been brought on with team Scott Walker, as the two-term Wisconsin Republican governor increasingly directs his political attention to a 2016 run at the White House.

Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart and Marshall County Treasurer Jarret Heil have joined the Iowa arm of Our American Revival, the political action committee aimed at developing an issues platform for the 47-year-old rising politico, organizers involved in the effort and one of the new operatives told The Daily Iowan Friday morning.

Together, Airhart, 37, and Heil, 34, have deeply-entrenched experience in campaign construction at the congressional and presidential levels.

Both with be tasked with familiarizing Walker’s rhetoric with the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential voters in their roles.

“I’ve been paying close attention to this and him for a number of years,” Airhart said of the 2016 presidential election and Walker’s political movements in an interview Friday morning.

In recent years, Airhart has served as the Iowa Coalition Director for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential bid, as the Regional Field Director for the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney 2004 presidential campaign, and a district representative for U.S. Rep. Steve King.

Airhart, who is currently serving his second-term as Chairman of the Iowa Republican County Officials Association, will not seek re-election as he diverts more of his attention to team Walker.

Heil, a 2003 graduate of Central College in Pella, is a former scheduler for U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and a constituent assistant for former Rep. Tom Latham in Ames. His background also includes farming and agriculture operations.

Airhart and Heil were sought out by moderate and conservative-leaning Republicans who are mulling a 2016 run for their knowledge of the state’s political pulse.

“I’ve always had Walker near and at the top of the list and I want to get to know more about him,” Airhart said. “At the end of the day, I look at those potential candidates, I don’t see them having the ability to unify the party that Scott walker can.”

In a news release, Walker credited Airhart and Heil for their short-term activist work.

“Chad Airhart and Jarret Heil are respected government officials and party activists who’ve accomplished so much on behalf of their local communities in such a short amount of time,” Walker said in the release. “They’ve been elected to leadership positions by their peers because they’re committed to delivering efficient, effective services at the most local level of representative government.”

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Walker Team Picks Up Local GOP Support In Iowa

Scott Walker’s Our American Revival (OAR) leadership team is finding fresh help from GOP officials in the key state of Iowa.

The Wisconsin governor’s team boasted in recent press releases about receiving support from four Republican state senators as well as two GOP county officials. Like other Republicans carefully eyeing a potential 2016 run, Walker is shoring up his team around the Hawkeye state as political observers begin to count down to the Iowa straw poll and the state caucuses.

State Senators Brad Zaun, Randy Feenstra, Dan Zumbach, and Tom Shipley pledged their support to Walker’s OAR team. Walker described the senators as sharing “a commitment to making this country stronger and returning [the country] to the core values that have made it so great.”

“I’m extremely impressed with Governor Walker’s commitment to promote policies that restore power to the states and their people. Essential to that effort is leadership and a grassroots movement that will work together to limit the size and scope of the federal government,” said Zaun, a former Urbandale mayor elected to his third Senate term in 2012. “Our American Revival is all about getting back to the wisdom of the Founding Fathers so we can once again emphasize the values that make our country great.”

Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart, a Waukee Republican serving his second term, is the chairman of the Iowa Republican County Officials Association (IRCOA). Marshall County Treasurer Jarret Heil, a Marshalltown Republican, was elected to his second term in 2014. He is IRCOA’s co-chairman, which represents approximately 550 officials statewide, across the state.

“Chad Airhart and Jarret Heil are respected government officials and party activists who’ve accomplished so much on behalf of their local communities in such a short amount of time,” Walker said in a statement. “They’ve been elected to leadership positions by their peers because they’re committed to delivering efficient, effective services at the most local level of representative government.”

Airhart and Heil say they decided to support Our American Revival because of Walker’s experience as Wisconsin’s governor as well as his experience as a Milwaukee County executive.

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Walker PAC Welcomes Top Iowa GOP Officials On Their Leadership Board

More 2016 grumblings: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s PAC, Our American Revival, announced today that they nabbed two top GOP officials from Iowa, Chad Airhart and Jarret Heil, to serve on the leadership board.

Via their press release:

Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart and Marshall County Treasurer Jarret Heil joined the Iowa leadership team of Our American Revival, an organization tasked with developing an issues platform based on Governor Scott Walker’s brand of big, bold reforms.Airhart, a Waukee Republican serving his second term, is the chairman of the Iowa Republican County Officials Association. Heil, a Marshalltown Republican elected to his second term last year, is IRCOA’s co-chairman. Past leaders of IRCOA, which represents approximately 550 officials statewide, include Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and State Auditor Mary Mosiman.

“Chad Airhart and Jarret Heil are respected government officials and party activists who’ve accomplished so much on behalf of their local communities in such a short amount of time,” Walker said. “They’ve been elected to leadership positions by their peers because they’re committed to delivering efficient, effective services at the most local level of representative government.”

On Feb. 1, Heil, 34, also assumed responsibilities as Marshall County auditor and recorder after the board of supervisors appointed him to fill the positions on an acting basis. He is believed to be the first Iowa official to assume simultaneous responsibilities for all three positions.

Airhart, 37, serves one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States. During his first term, the Dallas County Recorder’s Office returned more than $1.15 million in the form of a surplus to the county general fund, alleviating the need for additional property tax dollars.

Airhart and Heil were both drawn to Our American Revival by Walker’s leadership as Wisconsin’s chief executive and his experience as a former Milwaukee County executive.

“I support Governor Walker and Our American Revival because he is a leader that has taken on serious challenges, and by applying common sense conservative principles, has moved his state in the right direction. Those same principles are the backbone of the Our American Revival mission,” Airhart said. “Being a former Wisconsin legislator, county executive, and now governor that has been elected three times in four years, he is arguably the most accomplished sitting governor in America and I am now proud to help him promote policies that restore power to the states and their people.”

Heil added, “When Governor Walker was a county official, he voluntarily returned part of his salary and has a record of results when it comes to balancing budgets, meeting service needs and coming up with innovative solutions to tackle the toughest problems. That’s putting your money where your mouth is and that’s real leadership. It’s also inspiring. We need to share that kind of leadership and vision across Iowa and across the country, and Our American Revival was formed to do just that. I’m very happy to be involved.”

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Chad Airhart 2015 Swearing In Ceremony


Recorder warns of potential deed scam

The Dallas County Recorder’s Office is asking residents to be cautious if they receive a piece of mail asking them if they want a copy of their deed and property assessment. Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart said, “Recorder’s offices across Iowa have received phone calls from concerned citizens about letters they received saying there was ‘deed activity recorded in public record’ and they should obtain a ‘current property grant deed assessment’.”

Recently, a company called Record Transfer Services sent out letters to homeowners across the state with the above wording. Although the letter and form looks official, there is mention that it is a solicitation. The notice is designed to cause the homeowner to believe that there has been a recently recorded document, which is often not accurate. Anyone who receives a notice from companies offering deed and property assessment searches for their property should not be alarmed or think that it is necessary to respond to it. “Periodically there are companies that try to prey on people who know little about real estate or even less about their real estate documents or how they affect the title to their property” said Airhart.

Record Transfer Services charges $83 to obtain deeds and property assessments. Airhart said, “A copy of a deed can be obtained by searching the records at our office or by requesting a copy, which only costs 50 cents per page.”

Anyone having questions, or to obtain a copy of a deed, should call the Recorder’s office at 515-993-5804.

Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart Reports Substantial First Term Surplus & Accomplishments

(Waukee, IA) – It’s rare in government that we hear about elected officials and politicians sticking to their budgets. Let alone being under budget, but that is exactly what Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart has done every year of his first term in office.

Four years ago Airhart ran for Recorder and unseated a 22-year incumbent. He ran as a small government conservative with the cornerstone of his campaign being efficiencies. Regarding the financial state of the Recorder’s Office, Airhart said “It is easy for candidates for public office to talk about being fiscally conservative with taxpayer dollars, but it is often not as easy for them to follow through. I am proud of the way we have managed the funds entrusted to us for the services we provide.”

In FY 2014, the Dallas County Recorder’s Office returned $241,380, or just over 30% of the Recorder’s revenues, to the County General Fund. The Recorder does not take property tax dollars to function. Every office supply, technology, salary & benefit is paid for by fees received for services provided. In almost all instances, those fees are set by the Legislature in the Iowa Code. The surplus remaining at the end of the fiscal year is returned to the County General Fund and acts as a tax savings in the coming year as those surplus dollars lessen the amount needed to be collected from the property tax payers for the county to function.

To take a snap shot of Airhart’s first term as Recorder, his office returned $1,136,861 to the county general fund as surplus dollars, creating a substantial savings to the Dallas County taxpayer.

Airhart is 37 years old, and rather than focus on just one or two issues, he has focused on restructuring the entire office and streamlining government. Focusing on better processes and technology to record and return documents to the preparers in a more timely manner, on imaging historic records and providing services, forms and records online. With new processes and technologies, the office can more quickly process a record than it could just a few years ago. Recently the office imaged and indexed every record back to 1971 and imaged and indexed every military discharge record back to 1919. “Some might say it is management by statistics. The numbers don’t lie,” said Airhart. “It’s a tall order and tedious work, and we have seen record numbers of filings these past 4 years. The taxpayers and voters deserve to know the work being done on their behalf to make government work in a more efficient manner, and I proudly will talk about the accomplishments our staff in the Recorder’s Office has seen these past 4 years.”

Recently Airhart was awarded the Carl Ernst Scholarship & Award from the Property Records Industry Association for his work during his first term. He was the only government official given the award in the Country. Airhart is on the ballot this November and is running unopposed for a second term as Dallas County Recorder. For more information on the Chad Airhart, visit

Airhart receives PRIA Award – Two Ernst Scholarships Awarded Nationwide

The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) has presented two Ernst Scholarships Awards for the 2014-15 membership year which begins on August 1, 2014. The Ernst Scholarship Award was established by Ernst Publishing Co., in conjunction with PRIA, in recognition of the late Carl Ernst for his contributions to PRIA and the extended property records industry.

This year marks the first time the awards have been bestowed.

Chad Airhart in the Waukee 4th of July Parade

The recipient of the government scholarship is Chad Airhart, recorder, Dallas Co., Iowa. In his first term as recorder, Airhart digitized and indexed all real estate records in the county back to 1971 and recently imaged and indexed all military discharge records.

During the first three budget years, the Dallas Co. recorder’s office returned $950,000 in surplus to the county’s general fund and is on track to add to that surplus for the current fiscal year.

Airhart has been recognized as one of Des Moines “Forty Under 40,” has served as president of the Waukee Leadership Institute and on the board of Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce. He was named Waukee Leadership Institute’s “2012 Alumnus of the Year” for outstanding community leadership.

The business scholarship recipient is Susan Stewart, Investors Title Insurance Co., Southeast Regional Office, in Columbia, S.C. Stewart is the past president of the Palmetto Land Title Association, served on the board of the Mortgage Bankers of Greater Columbia (MBGC), received the MBGC “Member of the Year Award” and was the “2004 Better Business Bureau Arbitrator of the Year.”

Appointed by the Governor to serve as a member of the Electronic Recording Committee, she has worked fervently to promote the electronic recording of documents.

The Scholarship Awards include a one year PRIA Membership for both a government and business candidates, along with conference registration and travel to one PRIA conference during the membership year. The awards are valued at $2,000 plus a complimentary membership in PRIA.

According to PRIA President David Ewan, “The late Carl Ernst was one of the original members of the Property Records Industry Joint Task Force, the predecessor to PRIA, and a tireless advocate for the development of both eRecording and standards for the property records industry. We could not be more pleased to partner with Ernst Publishing Co. in sponsoring this scholarship.”

The award criteria, established in 2013, require that eligible applicants have not previously been members of PRIA and have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in their chosen fields, been active in their communities and proven service consistent with the mission and continued excellence of PRIA.

“I’m sure Carl would be pleased to see that PRIA continues to be the preeminent advocate for the collaboration of business and government throughout the public records industry,” states Gregory E. Teal, president & CEO of Ernst Publishing Co. “Increased membership and participation will only stand to further strengthen the association. We are proud to sponsor these scholarships. Congratulations to the recipients and, as Carl would say, ‘keep plugging.’ ”

This year’s recipients were selected from a pool of applicants by a committee consisting of the PRIA officers and a representative of Ernst Publishing Co. The two scholarships will be awarded annually assuming application submissions by qualified candidates.

About PRIA
The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) develops and promotes national standards and best practices for the land records industry. PRIA is a coalition of government and business partners collaborating to formulate positions on issues of common interest. PRIA strives to identify areas of consensus within the industry, leading to recommendations for national standards pertaining to recordable documents. For more information on PRIA, visit

See the PRIA release at

Chad Airhart Organizes Republicans to Play the Iowa Reapers

Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart has organized Dallas County Republican Officials to play the Iowa Reapers in a game of Beep Baseball. The amazing adaptive sport for the blind, which is played blindfolded, will put Iowa’s only Beep Baseball team, the Iowa Reapers agains Republican Dallas County elected officials. The National Beep Baseball Association was organized in 1976 for visually impaired adults to play baseball. The Iowa Reapers are the only organized team in Iowa.

This is a free event for all to spectate. Bring a lawn chair and something cold to drink and enjoy this adaptive version of America’s favorite past time. Those in attendance will witness the game of beep baseball and will certainly be delighted. They’ll witness blind athletes dive onto the ground to stop a beeping ball and run full speed toward the sound of a buzzing base to score a run. They’ll see desire, determination, teamwork and in many cases skilled performances of sightless players having fun in the midst of extreme competition. They will also see Dallas County elected republican officials blind folded playing against the Reapers.

To learn more about beep ball, please visit

  • When: Sunday July 20th at 12:30 pm
  • Where: Waukee Football Fields (just west of stadium)
  • Cost: Free to attend, but there is an opportunity to give free will to support the Iowa Reapers

Republicans Playing:

  • Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart
  • Dallas County Sheriff Chad Leonard
  • State Senator Charles Schneider
  • Urbandale Mayor Bob Andeweg
  • Waukee City Councilman Rick Peterson
  • Waukee City Councilman Brian Harrison
  • Clive City Councilman Mike McCoy
  • Clive City Councilman Eric Klein
  • Former Waukee City Councilman Isaiah McGee
  • Dallas County GOP Co-Chair Tyler DeHaan
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